I realized not too long into the race that this was the main half marathon of the weekend.
There were more people in this race, and way, way, way more support. There were a bunch of well-stocked water/food stations. Many stations had fun themes – 70’s, safari, matching bright outfits, and more.
Each group took time to make their station special, fun, and different.
There was a group that was doing burpees for high-fives. They were getting tons of high-fives, so I’m sure it was probably a pretty exhausting day for the people doing the burpees.
Girls on the Run yet again had an amazing, super-cheerful, enthusiastic station. They made up special cheers for this race incorporating how we all could take on the hill (that we continued to climb right after the Girls on the Run stop).
There was even a high school orchestra that came out and played for us! How cool, right? There was also a man who played the bagpipes before and during the race.
And, there were sweet, sweet mile markers during this race! Seeing each mile pass is wonderful. I love mile markers!
I finally jogged today after all that walking from the past 2 days. This was the last half marathon of the weekend, so I didn’t have to try to conserve my energy. I didn’t jog a lot, but I jogged it out in the first mile, which felt great.
I’m glad I saved a bunch energy for this race, ‘cause there were a couple of hills that were killer.
Six miles in, and far up a hill, I passed a medical station (which was the first one of the weekend). I didn’t think I needed anything from them until they yelled out that they had sunscreen. I’m in! I am always in for sunscreen.
I started talking to Rayna, Brian, and Siobhan – the medical staff. I took a little break to a) sunscreen up real good and b) hear about how their passion for working in the medical profession and how each one of them found it as their calling.
At some point, I decided I couldn’t sit around and talk all day, it was time to keep climbing up that hill.
At some point, I came across a full Gatorade just sitting on a guar rail. Huh. Was this left here by some kind stranger? I checked it out. The seal was broken, so I left it be.
Once I got in the last two miles, I was really starting to drag. I started with loads of energy and I was so done around mile 11. We went onto a bike path, so I didn’t even have the highway to entertain me anymore.
My dad and I talked on the phone for a bit. He said he was wearing his t-shirt from the Indy 500 Festival (his first half marathon (that we did together)), and I was wearing my 500 Festival shirt as well!
I guess maybe it’s not all that cool, but I thought it was pretty neat.
Eventually, I made it to the finish. There was a woman there (Dianna) who’d made cakes for everyone who had a birthday that day. She’d made some extras and gave me one. What? A free cake? An entire cake… not a piece of cake, but a whole cake. Boom. How awesome.
… Except I was still in vegan week! I couldn’t eat it, but I could try to get it back to L.A. with me in one piece, and eat it the moment I could have dairy.
I went back to the hotel to grab my bag and the shuttle to the airport. Embarrassingly, I didn’t have any cash to tip the bellman. So, I gave him my cake. At first he was all, “Oh, I couldn’t take your cake,” but saying it in that way where you see in his eyes that he really, really wants that cake. I implored him to take it.
The sweet staff seemed excited about cake. They said they’d share it at the end of their shift. I’m glad the cake found a good home.
As I was waiting for the shuttle, the woman at the concierge desk said, “Did you know you were in the local paper? I recognized you from your hat! Here, I printed out your article.”
How random and sweet, right? She liked my story. We had a lovely, short conversation. It was time to head home to L.A.
First triple half-marathon/39.3 weekend complete! Boom, baby!