Picking up from last time –
Just as I was about to the final bit – At the white barriers that lead you into the finish line, I heard “I hear we have our last finisher coming in!” – about the person right in front of the race vehicle (the race vehicle driven by the woman who’s mad at me – all other race vehicles are still tailing me).
Oh my gosh. I am SO close! I can literally see the finish. I bet I can get in before the timing mat comes up…
Then, just as I’m about to pass the guys pulling up the “New Orleans 2017 sticker off the ground” (like, I am SO ridiculously close at this point), a woman’s like “you gotta get out of here”
She’s very firm about it, basically literally blocking my path with her body telling me I can’t be in there.
And I’m thinking “wow, they were not kidding about that forfeit thing. I *barely* didn’t beat the van and they are cloooosing down the finish line”
But then the guys taking up the sticker (and someone else by the barrier) are all like “she’s fine. She’s fine.”
And so I say thanks and start to move forward, but the woman’s like “you can’t go that way!”
And then I’m asking how I leave the barriers (still hoping to figure out a way to run over the timing mat before they take it up). And it’s very confusing ’cause I’m getting down to crawl out from the barriers and keep moving forward. But she seems to be suggesting I turn around and leave the area completely, just not going toward the finish.
And I don’t 100% understand why she’s acting like not only closing down the finish line, but not letting a runner go anywhere near it would be totally normal and not frustrating for a runner… Like, she seems to not understand why I want to keep going forward… So, it’s this whole bru-ha-ha of confusion that no one really understands is happening until…
Someone (I think one of the guys taking the sticker off the ground) says something like “she’s fine. She’s right here. Just let her finish.”
And the woman says emphatically, “she’s not a runner!”
And I yell out “I am!” Weirdly enough some people around me also yell out “she is,” even though I guess they don’t actually know any more than she would. So, I don’t understand why they know or why they’re so caring, but I’m glad they are.
Anyway, she’s like “where’s your bib?”
Thank goodness I was able to pull it out of my pocket. And I went on.
And I could hear that woman behind me saying “I heard them say the last runner was crossing, and she didn’t have her bib. How was I supposed to know?”
And I felt really bad that she seemed to feel bad like she messed up or something, because her point was very valid.
Anyway, I went on down that last little stretch, and then I saw Annie. And she was like “wait! One more runner! I know you.” And she was saying nice things about me in the mic. And she came to greet me. And I said, “The timing’s mat’s still down, right?! I’m gonna get to finish?!”
And she was like “we got you!”
She said into the mic, “Keep the timing mat down for one more!” And I ran on through and got my medal and the remix medal and the jacket – oh that illustrious marathon jacket…
(And the woman in the van did not have a happy face on that I refused her orders *and* still got to finish, for anyone who’s wondering.)
If it had truly come down to it, I suppose I would’ve rather finished the actual distance and not gotten a medal (if that really had to happen – even though that would’ve had some dire consequences on the year-long-plan, oof…) than the other way around… but thankfully, I got both! (Yay!)
(By the way, I know I was being a little selfish, and I did take longer than I should have. So, while this is sort of a story of persistence and stubbornness and finishing, it’s also possible the story of an entitled girl who expected bent rules. So, I am sorry to the extra strain I put on the people around me. And THANK YOU so much for letting me finish! And onward we go!! :-))
(We’re now 45.5 miles in to this project! :-))