Picking up from yesterday –
One thing the people of this race did that was absolutely genius was wear signs that said the flavor of Gu they were giving out. No runners/walkers were confused. It was right there in plain (neon) sight.
Another genius things? They had signs for the smile zone!
I don’t know about you, but I (and usually the people I’m with), like to ham it up for the cameras and try to look like we’re either super fun, super fast, or both.
When someone sees a photographer, they’ll yell out something along the lines of “Photographer to your left coming up!” Everyone will know to speed up and smile (or get their intense look on).
But sometimes you miss the photographers, and by the time they’ve caught your eye, they’ve also caught you sauntering (or worse – checking your phone).
In this race, there were big signs that said, “Smile zone ahead! Get ready to smile!” (There weren’t signs at each point, but even signs at one were a pleasant surprise.)
One insanely exciting thing about this race was that I knew where we were. I am horrendous with directions. I never study course maps. But this was my backyard! Once we turned onto Flower St. – I knew what that meant! I said, “We’re on Flower,” and that actually meant something! I had a great grasp of how much we had left to do for the entire final mile. Yay! (Still can’t get over it, in case you can’t tell.)
At the end of the race, I took about 10 steps and I was home. I decided just to hang out outside and cheer for a bit.
It was so awesomely emotional to cheer for people in their final .05 miles of their half marathon.
This one girl (Brooke) came walking in. As I was saying, “Great job! Look at what you are accomplishing,” I noticed she was crying. I asked if it was her first half marathon. Brooke said yes. I said, “You are one minute away from becoming a half-marathoner.” She started crying harder. Then I started crying. It was so emotional! She was so proud and empowered to be a half-marathoner! Amazing.
Lots of people kept asking, “Is that really the finish? Is that banner really the end?” I thought it was hilarious how often I heard that question. It was awesome to be able to say, “Yes! Look. It’s right there. Seriously. I promise you that’s the end! You are doing this!”
As long as I live in my apartment, I cannot imagine a year in which I don’t do this race again. Be awakened at 6:30am to blaring music outside your window that does not stop for the next 4 1/2 hours, or go run with thousands of your closest friends? The choice seems incredibly clear to me!
See you next year, Rock ‘n’ Roll LA!