Monday, July 4, 2011

4 Alarm Start Line Party

After three full marathon finishes for this fundraiser, my biggest anxiety about racing is still related to one blog post that's always a possibility..."Dear Sponsors, Thanks so much for your support! I don't know how to say this, but I overslept and missed the start. Oops!"

As part of my typical preventative measure, I set two alarm clocks in my hotel room, scheduled a wake up call with the front desk, and asked my parents to call and double check I hadn't missed all those. Fortunately, all alarms went off as scheduled. By 4am I had slept fairly well (considering), and got ready to head to the start line shuttles just a block or so from the hotel.

My thoughts on the bus ride to the start line? "Holy cow this is a long way!". The reality was setting in that I'd actually be running all the way back.

Start Line Village was typical chaos of bag check, bagels, bananas, port-a-potty lines, and LOTS of runners....just over 26,000 to be exact. The weather was perfect! Cloudy and low 50s. The racing gods had been good to us.

I've gotten to know Rock n Roll races well enough that I'm in no hurry to get to my assigned start corral. I was actually in the port-a-potty line when the starting gun went off. No worries- I was assigned to start so far back in the pack that it was a full 40 minutes later that my group actually started the race. Here's a pic from the start line. See how far back the runners go? That's not the end of the line, it rounds two more corners. So don't bother trying to zoom in to find me here. :-)I heard that at one point the half marathon course was packed full- while the winners were just finishing the half, slower runners were just crossing the start line. All that wait time must get boring, right? WRONG! It's a Rock and Roll race- the party starts before the race begins.... music, dj's, balloons, photographers, beach balls....

Here's the photo from the Seattle newspaper the following day:

By the time I really crossed the start line I was feeling great and ready to RUN!!!! 26.2 miles! Let's do this!!!

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