Monday, October 13, 2008

A Running Extravaganza

We occasionally hear from Dave's family in Texas about "family fun runs" that they participate in. I have always liked the idea, but I haven't been able to find any opportunities for us around here, so I was really excited when our friends told us about the Baltimore Running Festival and the kids' fun run. Dave and I have also been running a lot at the gym lately, so he felt like he could tackle the 5K with Tyler (I was tempted, but I'm a slow runner, so I wouldn't have been able to finish in time for the fun run, and plus, just the thought of a race makes me want to throw up - even though I wouldn't be running competitively. maybe some day though).
So Saturday morning we all got up early and headed down to Baltimore. And, just so you know, if you ever go to a running festival, you may want to consider wearing "running clothes", even if you aren't running. I only saw two other people wearing jeans. Silly me. It's a running festival. Also, if you don't want to feel left out, you could make yourself a little colorful rectangle with some random numbers, also known as a "bib", and pin it to your shirt. I'm just saying. Oh, yeah, and one more thing, maybe bring some toilet paper of your own if you think you may need to use the "porta-johns". Again, I'm just saying.
So anyway, Dave and Tyler ran first.
Amy and I had to get the kids checked in and ready for their run, so we weren't planning on watching the boys, but we went over just in time to see them finish. Without really any training, and no race experience, Dave did great, finishing with a personal record of 25:26. That placed him right in the top 25 percent. Good job Dave!
Next up, the kids' fun run:
Look at their cute little bibs.
Here comes Evie. Running her little heart out! Go Evie!
And there goes Owen with Dave. They were running so fast, all I caught was this little blur! (Okay, so maybe I was shaking the camera a little, but have you ever tried to photograph a race?)
Look at Owen's smile. He's so excited. Evie was excited too, but for some reason couldn't bring it across on camera.
Evie: "Mom this is the first time I got a gold metal!"
Me: "And it won't be the last."
Good job kids!
After we all finished running, we hung around the kid zone for a while, and then drove up the marathon route a little ways to see if we could provide some encouragement to the runners, and hopefully catch our friend, AJ who was running his first marathon. Man, cheering for your friends in a marathon is hard work! There were a lot of faces going by, some of them in big groups, and they were going by fast. And we couldn't take our eyes off of them for a second, in case we might miss him. And I had to have the camera ready and everything. It was probably harder than actually running the marathon myself. Okay, maybe not that hard. We parked ourselves on the sidewalk next to the route, and cheered and clapped for the hundreds (maybe even thousands, I don't know how many people passed by) of people who had been running for four hours. Four. Hours. Let me just say that again, "hundreds of people who had been running for four hours." It was amazing. What was also kind of a feel good moment was that we were in an area of Baltimore where I have been before, and felt a little nervous for my safety (of, course, I am kind of paranoid), but this time there were people up and down the route cheering, clapping, and yelling words of encouragement, there were car horns honking, there were people running for four hours and just still running, working hard, expressing appreciation to us (or mostly Tyler who was yelling the most) for encouraging them. Even if we hadn't seen AJ, I would have been so happy that we did that. But we did see AJ. See, here he is:

right here with the hat, and we yelled for him and took his blurry picture (I'm telling you these people come by so fast!), and Tyler went out to run with him over this little obstacle at mile 24:

There they go, off into the sunset. Tyler came back after the bridge part, and AJ went on to finish the marathon! He finished a marathon! I'm just going to say that again: my friend AJ, "he finished a marathon!" in just over four hours. And that's including a leg cramp at mile 21! I'm going to say that's probably about one quarter of the time it would take me to finish a marathon (that is, if I didn't call for a ride around mile four or five). Congratulations AJ!
What a great day!
(Oh, and thanks to Amy for bringing her camera, so we could get some pictures. I apologize that I don't know how to operate it correctly. It was my first time at a running extravaganza, so I didn't know if it would be a good idea for me to drag my camera around with me, and hers was much more portable.)


AJ said...

Thanks for the support guys. I really appreciated it. That bridge was a tough climb then and when I did the half the past two years because it is at the end when you are so drained. The morale boost benefitted me tremendously.

Allen Home said...

Good job on the run....Evie and Katie own the same owl shirt. Imagine that.