Going to apologize in advance as I cannot manage to get formatting done correctly today.
I have decided I love runners! All runners!! Back in October, I wrote about the camaraderie of the running community. I have now experienced it again. Only, this time, I experienced it as I was running.
I left Saturday afternoon on this little weekend – okay, part of a weekend – getaway. I was going to my first half marathon. It was not very far away, just about a two hour drive, but with Daylight Savings Time beginning Sunday morning, I was not taking a chance that I would miss the start. I traveled down the night before.
I got to The Lodge at Rock Hill about 4 pm. Packet pick-up was scheduled to be from 4-6 pm. I checked in and unloaded my junk. Weather was going to be iffy on Sunday so I had a suitcase full of running gear. I was unsure what I would need. I then went down to the ballroom/conference room to pick up my packet and help. Yes, Kristy – who is a teacher in my area and has kids in Scouts with my youngest – Kristy’s sister is one of the race directors. I had told Kristy I would help if I got there early enough. I helped people pick up their packets and took pictures.
These pictures were all taken on Saturday evening before we all went to dinner. About 30 people picked up numbers, goodie bags and windbreakers (more on this later) Saturday. 555 people pre-registered to either run or walk the course.
Dinner was wonderful. I did not go out alone. I went with Kristy, her boyfriend (do we really call men that are over 40 boys?), her two sons, Kathleen and Miriam – the race directors, Mike from the timing company and Steve, a good friend of Kathleen’s who helps with the race. We went down the road about a half mile and had a great dinner at Dutch’s. I will tell you my original plans were to take my dinner with me but I did not.
When I got back to the hotel, I logged onto a few web sites, checked a few things and then got a bucket of ice for water and ice all night as I settled in to watch my alma mater play in the Big East Championship game. This was a big weekend in my family as my daughter was in Niagara Falls at the last ever College Hockey American tournament as the league is dissolving. She was cheering on her alma mater – Niagara University. I celebrated when the game was over; my daughter did not.
Even with Daylight Savings Time, I woke at 5:30 am without an alarm. I had set both my cell phone and my room’s alarm to 6 am. I was not going to shower until after the race but wanted to get some coffee in my system and breakfast. I made coffee in my room and had one cup. Needless to say, it did not have the effect I truly wanted. I went down to the lobby and got an everything bagel and a small bowl of cinnamon spice oatmeal and coffee. I went back to my room to eat and then walked back to the lobby to pick up my chip. I knew it was not quite time but I was getting antsy – and nervous – and wanted to talk to people so I did.
Despite my holding that I am truly a shy person, I talked to all kinds of people. I spoke with three runners that are running Boston this April. I spoke with runners and walkers. I decided what was necessary to wear – but still couldn’t decide about gloves and hat. I took a short run outside and decided definitely gloves and winter headband to start with as it was cold. I took my camera down to the lobby for a bit to get a few more pictures.
Okay, the details of the actual race are to come in a third post on my first. For heaven’s sake, you would think I was talking about sex here. But the race has its own details that I want to get down in words.