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amazing race(s)

April 27, 2010

** This could get long, but totally worth it for me to look back on and remember.  I don’t want to forget any of it.**

A few months back I mentioned that some girlfriends had made a commitment (to themselves) to run a 5k – a first for all.  I was deemed the ‘coach’ only because I have run a couple of races and because I’m such a hard-a$$!  They asked a few questions – I tried to answer them.  They had a few doubts – I hope I eased them.  They wanted to give up – I yelled at them and told them they were a bunch of pansies!!  Regardless, they persevered.  They were troopers.  Due to an unforseen volcano – one member was unable to make it – something about “I haven’t seen my husband for two weeks and I’d like to spend time with him” that made her stay home. Priorities.

I decided to go along and share in the run – however didn’t feel I could/should run the day before my ‘big day’.   I ran with them for a 1/2 mile to the first water stop (front yard of my director’s home) and then ran in with them for the last 1/2 mile (back yard of director’s home).  It was amazing!!!!  They are so strong.  They shattered the goal they had set for themselves.   I couldn’t believe what I saw.  The race they chose is for women only (not one male has ever participated!).  To watch all of the women run, walk, and talk together was awesome. 

 

They did it!  Tears, sweat and “when is our next one?”  All part of my evil master plan to make everyone I love run with me.

As soon as it was over it was time to head to OKC for the Run to Remember.

Official Race Review:

Expo: The expo is run fairly efficiently, but this race is about the memories of those who lost their lives, not about running gear.  However… I did meet the guy from BrooksDNA & we talked Brooks for quite a while – he’s the little guy from the commercial HERE.  Too funny.  I’m sold.  Also bought some of these:

So glad I did…

The Race:  There is a reason it is called A Run to Remember:

. . . the memories.  The loss.  The hope. 

Fifteen years ago a friend lost her mom in the OKC bombing.  Ten years ago they started a memorial marathon. Five years ago I told myself I would run the marathon in honor & memory of Patricia Nix.  I did it.  It was hard.  Harder than anything I ever imagined.  I still can’t wrap my head around our friend’s loss, but I am encouraged by the growth in the human spirit and the ability to heal.

This year, I put so much into this race – a goal & a vindication.  

We woke up at 4:30 for a 6:30 start.  The guy at the front desk of our hotel told us a short-cut to the start.  Walked outside into 35mph cold winds. Got downtown in 10 minutes, found a spot in the parking garage 2 blocks from starting-line and went to check our gear.  Climbed over a fence to enter the corrals and waited with 22,498 of our closest friends. 

The starting line is on one side of the Memorial.  Prior to the start is 168 seconds of silence to honor the 168 lives lost.  Silence.  Remarkable.  It was at this point I decided my 2hr goal was worthless.  It didn’t have the same meaning.

The anthem played. The race started.  We stood still for 6 minutes.  Finally, movement and we worked our way toward the starting line.  Ten minutes before we crossed the line.  Smiled at my sweetie and tried to make a go of it. 

The first 7-8 miles were remarkable!!  We ran in, out, and around crowds and crowds of people.  Crowd support was phenomenal!  The music. . .the children cheering for ‘Mommy’. . .the Garmins chiming.  We gained time as we ran.  People were everywhere! 

Miles 8-10 became more emotional – mainly because I was exhausted, but this one had its own meaning.  I typically make it a priority to tell every police officer “Thank You” when I’m running in their city.  Every single one of them responded with, “Thank you for running.”  After hearing this mile after mile it started to sink in.  They weren’t doing this for me or any other runner – we were doing it for them, all of OKC and our country. 

Around mile 11 my husband pointed next to me and I was running shoulder to shoulder with our neighbor and his daughter!! What!?!?  My neighbor & his daughter run 1/2 marathons???  We high-fived and kept on.  Hills.  Water stops & more cheering. 

Mile 12 – some super-fit-young-chic is in my sight and I’m set on passing her – because that’s what kind of girl I am.  Don’t think you can be cute, muscular and faster than me!  It’s the kill-her trifecta!  She turned out to be the best motivator to me and her friends taking us all the way to the finish. 

Mile 13 – 13.1 – we turned the corner onto Broadway the crowd is loud & BIG.  Five years ago I could see the finish banner from the turn, but this time the crowd was so large I couldn’t see it!! FatherRunner (is tall) could see it and kept saying, “There it is!  We’re almost there!”   I could finally see it and had a big kick – finishing next to cute-chic and her friends (thanking her for the encouragement – because that’s what kind of girl I really am).

Finish: we grabbed our gear and headed out to find our children who ran the Kids’ Marathon.  Quickly found them, hooked up with FastRunnerFriend (FRF), her family, and got together with my brother, SisterRunner & their family.  It was remarkable.  We PR’d.  But the PR was not the highlight.  Here are a few of our favorite memories:

  • A little girl sitting in front of her home holding a cookie-sheet full of bacon yelling “WHO WANTS BACON??”

  • A man holding out a bottle of Jim Beam for folks to take a swig of.

  • A child holding a sign reading “My Aunt Rhonda is faster than your Aunt Rhonda!”

  • The woman holding a sign that said “I know you are a stranger but I’M PROUD OF YOU!!” (maybe she has heard me complain about random people telling me they are proud)

  • The man holding a sign that said “Run This Bitch” – I yelled “who you callin’ a ‘BITCH’?” hahaha I’m so funny.

  • High-fiving hundreds of children.

  • Men dressed in banana suits at “Gorilla Hill”

  • Misty showers just when you need them most.

  • City buildings and homes to block the 35mph winds.

  • People in their pajamas, on their lawn, with all their neighbors, having a great time – not running – but cheering.

  • The banners of the 168 lives lost – still have never seen Pat’s . . . must run until I do!

  • A newlywed couple running in tuxedo jacket & veil – “CONGRATULATIONS!!”

You must run this race!  It gets 10,000 gold stars from me.

Do not run this race if:

  • You have a specific time goal.

  • If you are claustrophobic.

  • If hills scare you.

  • If you are scared of bananas.

  • If you cry easily.

  • If you don’t have a heart.

  • If a 6:30am start is too early for you (almost a deal breaker for me – I likey my sleep)

  • If you expect great swag – t-shirt is made of cotton that shrinks 3 sizes – you get tech if you finish the full marathon

We will run this race again and again.  I think it’s a must for any runner.

Now time for more of this:

 It aint pretty – but it sure feels gooooood.

Run the Race Friends!

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 27, 2010 6:52 pm

    What a great recap, I so wish I could have been there, it sounds like an amazing half marathon. I love all the wonderful memories you get from running a race like that. Congrats!

    • Mother Runner permalink
      April 28, 2010 6:13 am

      It was the best!
      I’ve got another good one I’ll e-mail you about – months away – I bet you can make it!

  2. April 27, 2010 7:24 pm

    Ok, I must say that now that I am 2 days out. I would do it again. The big pull for me is the crowd support!!! Great run!!

    • Mother Runner permalink
      April 28, 2010 6:14 am

      See?? It was good. Forget the fact that you about passed out and can’t breathe. 🙂

  3. April 27, 2010 11:12 pm

    the 5k was awesome.
    your race was amazing!
    the funky socks are…..funky.

    i want some bacon.

    • Mother Runner permalink
      April 28, 2010 6:15 am

      i love me some bacon.
      next year we are going and eating bacon & drinking Jim Beam.
      this race is soooo not about getting a good time, but having a good time.

  4. April 28, 2010 9:59 am

    The recap made me emotional all over again! It was my first HM and so glad I close this one for it!!

    • Mother Runner permalink
      April 28, 2010 10:29 am

      Wasn’t it incredible? I really miss it, and I’ve never felt that way about a race. Weird.
      Congrat’s on your first half Indi-girl!!

  5. April 28, 2010 11:08 am

    I am just ignoring that part. Thanks to Dr Joe I have a plan all mapped out for August 1st in Chicago! I will NOT go to Med Tent that run!! (positive thinking LOL!)

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