Monday, December 8, 2008

Seattle Marathon ...all 26.2 this time...

Last week I got to go out and cheer on AK plus thousands of other runners at the Seattle Marathon. This is the first year either of us had anything to do with the full marathon, we’re both run the half a number of time’s over the last several years, but never the full. So this was going to be pretty cool.

The morning started with a light mist that was suppose to burn off by 10-10:30, that was what most the local news stations were reporting. And for the most part that was true.

Except that instead of the fog burning off it doubled in thickness and moved in pretty heavy over the course.

AK was off and running and I had 40 minutes to make it to the I-90 tunnel and cheer her on. Takes about 15 minutes to drive straight there, - about 38 to get there around the course, park and run four blocks down and over, back up under the bridge to see the runners cross the bridge.

I got there, took 2 pics of the crowds and stood up on the jersey barrier and didn’t realize that Shell and Lil’K were standing about 10 ft down the road from me. I laughed and said, “ What are you doing here?”.

TK had joined AK on the opposite side of the tunnel and was going to run with her from the tunnel out and back to Mercer Island, pretty sweet. I know that’s going to be a high light to her 2008 running season.

AK was running on great pace for her would-be finish time of 4:40 and the days weather was perfect for running. After TK left her she was headed out to Seward Park.

I caught back up with her at mile 17 and she was still smiling and looking really strong and steady.

The fog rolled in and got really thick at the bottom of Madison. Mile 21 was at the top of a really nasty hill and AK pushed steady through the hill and was still smiling.
I hung out at mile 26 for about 10 minutes before I saw AK and that was really a special place. The course ducks under Hwy 99 so the runners disappear for about 2 minutes then pop up right at mile 26. So all the support people wait and wait and keep saying he/she should be here, should be here, should be, not them, close - what time do you have, what were........

The feeling and emotion just about rips your heart out. So many times during the day having to hold back tears from just watching that raw emotion pour out onto the street.

At mile 16 I saw a girl hobbled, in serious pain and fell into her mothers arms saying,”I knew you were waiting and I had to make it to you.” The mother loaded her in a car and kept repeating “I’m so proud of you”

I think the best way to put your sport of choice in perspective is to sit it out and watch it from the sidelines. I always gain more or regain my respect for running/racing/trying by watching and seeing all shapes and sizes just go out and put it on the line. It seems to remind me of how much is needed to reach my own start lines. How much is needed to willingly start the whole process. And how much is needed to remember this is fun, this is work, this is what I want.

What AK wanted was 4:40, what she got was 4:33:06 - Pretty Sweet!

No comments: