(#3) Surf City Half Marathon – The One on Crutches – Part 3 (Finishing!)

February 9, 2012

Aurora De Lucia with a large smile after finally (after over 5 hours) she hobbles in on her crutches to the finish of the Surf City half marathon 2012 (complete with sag wagon behind her)If you’ve  been wondering, yes, I finished! But the real question is, did I finish last?

Yesterday’s post left off around mile 12. My new goal was to not come in last, and that lasted for about one second until that became about 3% of my goal and 97% stayed on just finishing before the time limit in as little pain as possible.

Around mile 13, I knew I had enough time to make it. I happily got started actually using the crutches again on that mile. (It was ridiculously painful to walk without them, but I have no upper body strength and had to keep up).

I was ecstatic to be in mile 13, though it pretty much seemed like the longest mile I’ve ever done. As you can see from my pictures, I grabbed washcloths in the morning and stuck them over my crutches. That really helped. (That’s a tip if you’re planning a half marathon on crutches.)

As I was walking along with my crutches, another sag wagon came up. This incredibly nice woman driving said, “I just want to let you know that you’re doing great, and you’re gonna make it.” It was exactly what I needed to hear.

A super ripped guy across the street didn’t realize the people in the wagon were being so nice. He yelled, “Don’t try to convince her to get in that van! You’re doing it! You’ve gone this far. Nothing can stop you now.” I really appreciated the sentiments.

The sag wagon drove away to go check on other runners, and I kept on hobbling. I passed a man who said, “Oh my gosh, you’re actually finishing! My friend and I saw you start this morning. I have to call and tell him that you’re doing it!”

Aurora giving a big open mouth smile while leaning on her crutches after the Surf City half marathon 2012It took me forever to see that finish line. I kept asking strangers on the street every 10 feet or something ridiculous like that if I was getting close. And people said I was.

Lo and behold, the sweetest thing I could see… In the distance was the finish line! The feeling was indescribable. I was finishing for everyone who said I inspired them to think they could do more. I was finishing for everyone who said I never would. I was finishing for myself.

The announcer was a sweetheart saying, “For real? You’re incredible!” They actually got video!  (If I ever feel like I can’t do something, I’m gonna pop that video in.)

(If you didn’t see it in an earlier post, I came in at 5:07:46 (a mere 1 minute and 3 seconds before the official end of the race).

I didn’t come in last! When the results came out, it turned out there were 7 people who came in behind me. (What?)

After waiting for 13 long miles, it was finally time for that delicious Dairy Queen!

As I was walking away from gear check, I actually saw helpful Marcia from the expo that morning. She remembered me and wanted to make sure I finished. What a sweetheart.

I don’t know if any of these people are reading this, but a quick humongous thank you to the patient staff of Surf City – they still had bananas and water when I finished!

Also, thanks to the spectators and runners for encouraging. Thanks to the people on the sidewalk who gave me pretzels. Thanks to the woman who saw me on a turnaround and said, “I was thinking about quitting, but now that I saw you, I can’t.”

Thanks to YOU reading the blog. I can’t wait to tell you all about the next one – Palm Springs!

4 thoughts on “(#3) Surf City Half Marathon – The One on Crutches – Part 3 (Finishing!)”

  1. Great story, Aurora. Seems to be a allegory for your life, eh? 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration! And, I know you have more than 1% inspiration, so you can dial down the perspiration. You keep writing, I’ll keep reading.

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