Thankfully correct pronunciation was not a requirement for racing.
I am used to the chill of early morning races on the west coast and planned accordingly.
My mother talked me out of it.
That was a good thing as I was already feeling comfortable, dare I say warm even, when we arrived at the venue.
While we were waiting for the race to start, someone I have known for 20 years (but haven't seen in almost 10!) ran over to me.
He was in my wedding party!
It was fun to catch up, and we remarked that it was a hot day. Hot and HUMID.
GymSis and I found our spot at the starting line and headed off! We went out a little fast and uneven, but slowed down to a comfortable pace by the first mile.
As we ran, it got hotter. There was one lady running behind us for awhile who had me pretty concerned.
She fell back into a group after a few minutes and I was relieved she would be with a large group of people.
We were running through quiet neighbourhoods, but there were some people out spectating.
We were enjoying the banter with other racers, waving to the neighbours, and trying desperately to ignore the heat.
At one point, there was another woman running behind us. I mean right behind us.
I could feel her breath on my neck.
We spread out a little to give her space because apparently running around us on an empty suburban street was not an option, and she didn't budge. Finally I sped up a bit to try and put some distance between us. At that point she sped up too, ran past me for 5 seconds, and then stopped.
By then we were beyond hot. Somewhere around 6.5 kilometres, GymSis wavered slightly. We started walking.
Translation: "I don't want to be walking."
I gave her some words of encouragement.
I'm clearly not used to giving pep talks, but literally everyone was walking.
I tried another, hopefully more productive tactic:
We kept walking.
After a couple of minutes GymSis was feeling better. I then employed the age-old runner mind-trick:
And off we went for the next 3 kilometres, calling out any marker we could think of.
On our way we mugged for the photographer:
But he did not take our photo.
We saw GymSis' family holding up some excellent signs:
Then we saw our mom right before the finish line!
And there was! Thanks mom!
We grabbed some Gatorade, water and orange slices.
It was rehydration at its finest.
After the race, GymSis decided to hang up her running shoes to return to her first loves (Spin, BodyPump, Flow, Super Strongbody 3000 or something--it makes her super strong anyway, etc...). I enjoyed getting to race with her, and I'll be ready if she decides to dust off her kicks again someday.
Plus, I'll work on my cheerleading skills.
UPCOMING POSTS: A REVIEW OF OOFOS SHOES, VOLUNTEERING AT A RACE, PORTLAND MARATHON RECAP, MARATHON AFTERMATH