Race Weekend Extravaganza!

So today is the day! The big race day!! Thank goodness I’m not running!!! … Wahhahaha I’m not running *sniff*… As you can tell I’m slightly conflicted about how I feel about this…

At least I had my consolation bagel! If I wasn’t going to have to run, I was going to get my consolation delicious breakfast. Panera has their new season line out-that season line includes the pumpkin bagel, an all time favorite!! I swear I could gain endless weight eating an endless supply of Panera pumpkin bagels! I got to nab this bagel just before getting the ding dong song of wedding bells chiming out of my phone. It was my new-as of 3 weeks now-hubby, Jamesie. “Hey!” he rang in, “so this traffic for the race is really bad – could you drop us off?” Next thing I know, I’m packing up my medical homework, which i had only half heartedly started before his call, refilling my water bottle, and before I could top off my coffee mug, my phone is ringing again, he was there. I hopped in my car and sped off towards the base with my brother and James in tow, zooming past the miles of backed up traffic to get them as close to the start as possible. For a glimmering moment there, as I watched them scamper off towards the start line, I felt that twinge of jealousy, and I could almost feel my adrenaline rushing for them…

Where was I? Oh yes today’s the day-the big race day! I’ll be on the sidelines with my two beautiful sisters-I practiced my screaming cheering holler last night so I should be good to go!

Random interjecting thought here-when I got home last night, my dad told me to say hi to Gracey…twas splendid to pet her soft white coat, she was in moderately good spirits…

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We’re going to be streaming live – our first stop-downtown Fairborn-wherein our Mom, who is running her first marathon, at age 53, after a back surgery about 2 years go, will be crossing the 7 and 8 mile marks. She’ll be going past us first on one side of the road and again one mile later. The goals are to 1. Spot her 2. Get at least one good photo and 3. Hand off her peanutbutter cracker snack!

We just got her first passing and she’s looking strong-operation peanutbutter cracker hand off was slightly shaky but bottom line successful!

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Second passing went by with far more grace-the cracker offer was rejected but I snapped two awesome photos of Mom mid-stride, and a dude on the side lines acted quickly enough to snag up the camera as my younger sister, Mary, threw at him, and managed to get a quality photo of the three of us girls smiling next to Mom as she paused for a moment in her race. A very successful endeavor indeed! Next stop-seeing Johnny Boy and Jamesie finish the half! We have to get on base, park, and walk about a mile – I hope we don’t miss it!

We were in the car and I realized we weren’t going to make it to the finish line in time to see Jamesie! Anne, my older sister, parked the car and I said “see ya!” as I sprinted off to the finish line, trenching through the thick mud and weeds. After 8 minutes of jogging, lugging my heavy purse and jacket, I finally arrived at the final 200 yard dash of the race. I stood there wedged between other yelling fans, staring intently at the oncoming herd of runners. About 5 or 6 minutes later, THERE HE WAS!!! I saw him approaching and screamed his name. Earbuds in-he was totally oblivious. Keeping my holler up, I snapped a pic of him as he passed by, looking focused on the finish as he rounded the corner.

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I think the first words out of his mouth when I found him were, “I’m free!”

The next adventure, after meeting up with Jamesie, was to meet back up with Anne, Mary, and Dad. Dad had been at the finish for a while, having long ago completed his 10k. We were to cheer my brother, John, on, as he pulled in to his finish; this would be his first half marathon! It wasn’t too long after reuniting with the bunch of them, when Mary spied him from a distance, “I see him!” We prepared ourselves accordingly: Mary got the poster in position, Anne helped her with it, and I got my camera ready, struggling to find a better vantage point. Not finding one, I jumped on a thought, “Mary, get on my back!” Without further adieu, she was hoisted on high, mounted atop my shoulders, waving the poster.

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The camera man ran up to catch a clip of the action as we screamed and cheered John on. About two seconds into her sitting on my shoulders I started to feel the intervertebral discs scream at me… As the excitement built and John got closer I could just envision the squishing of everyone of my thoracic gelatinous nucleous pulposus discs-about to rupture and burst into the vertebral canal. This vivid imagery was NOT helping! The second our champion John ran by, I gave a final holler and then called out to James and Dad to assist in the dismount. Thankfully, I did not manage to pop any discs AND Dad some how snapped an awesome action shot of Johnny Boy on my phone!

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Johnny finished in somewhere around 2 hours and 30 minutes and James made just under 2 hours! Considering the training and likelihood of subsequent injury-they did pretty darn well! After this, we all took a moment of respite before standing once again back at the finish line, vigilant this time for mom…

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And it was Mary again to spy the runner, “THERE SHE IS!!!!” John and James angled their cameras in on the distant figure’s direction and used them to confirm: it was in fact Mom! She was joggin’ in, strong and steady. When she came across our way, bounding in past us at the 100 yard mark, we screamed and hollered at the top of our lungs, as she gave a triumphant wave! She continued her race down to the end past the finish line and there we gathered to meet up with her and revel in her victory and squeeze her in tight embrace!

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Proud of all my runners for the day, we walked/hobbled the mile back to the car as the sun began to peek out and stand out from the clouds.

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