(#38) Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon – Part 2 (The Good Stuff Outside Of The Rarghness)

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Yesterday, I wrote about the miserable part of the race.

Today, let’s focus on all the fun, wonderful stuff surrounding the bad stuff.

I got into Healdsburg around 3am. I walked around the Hyatt lobby (where the shuttle was going to pick everyone up) until I found a chair that seemed kind of out of the way.

I fell asleep assuming no one would notice me, until I woke up to the sound of people talking about me in Spanish. I tried to explain that I was there for the half marathon. They made me move from the secret chair, and to the main lobby.

No one was in the main lobby, so I was hoping no one would notice I was sleeping there. Alas, I woke up again to a security guard, but once I said I was just two hours early for the shuttle, he allowed me to sleep on the lobby couch. Score!

Once I got to the race, I met Jenny – this incredibly joyous girl. She hadn’t done a half marathon in a while, and every single thing was awesome to hear. “Look at all these people! Look at these costume! Look at these bibs!” I adored her incredibly positive, infectious attitude.

I overdressed hardcore in the morning. I thought, “Oh, I’m in Northern California, which actually has weather. It won’t be sweltering like it is in SoCal.” I was incredibly wrong, as I learned while melting under my three shirts as the race wore on.

As I came closer to the water stop around mile 4, I saw this humongous group of incredibly excited people. “Hmm, who’s up there?” I wondered. Of course it was Girls on the Run. I know I mention them all the time, but to see first hand the work being done for girls, and to see the women mentors fostering an attitude of service, kindness, and all that good stuff – it’s awesome.

The girls were so enthusiastic, even to those of us in the back of the pack. They seemed to genuinely believe what they were saying as they cheered, “You’re doing great! You are awesome! You got this!”

I’m glad Girls on the Run exists. I really hope to get involved in their organization next year!

After the race, I got a free massage, which was awesome. And I met an incredibly nice family who drove me to the airport. (Thank you so much Michael and Erica!)

I flew out of the tiniest airport I’ve ever seen (Sonoma County Airport). It was kind of fun, ’cause the full name is the Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport. It was themed accordingly, and adorably.

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