It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for, folks! After leaving you hanging last week, it’s time for the RACE RECAP!
O.K. So Christine (the aforementioned friend) said “Let’s walk Columbus together!” and I was all “Alright!” and so we signed up. We picked training plans and sent each other encouraging texts and it was wonderful and there were rainbows and unicorns and I SWEAR bluebirds were flying around my head putting ribbons in my hair.
At least for the first half of the training plan. The second half? I realized that after this race, I was really going to be done. My heart just isn’t in the long distance training anymore…not that it was all that in it before.
Life intervened for Christine, too, and I’m just so thankful that we were on the same page about this race being just for fun. This is one of our conversations toward the end. (FYI: It doesn’t matter who was texting who. The sentiments were interchangeable)
We’re going into this fairly undertrained, but knowing we would enjoy it because you seriously would only do something this crazy for someone you love, right? Right.
Fast forward to race day. After fighting traffic, we made it down to the start line with only a few minutes to spare. We got to our corral, stood around for less than 10 minutes and then we were off.
As always, the energy at the start line was awesome. But we were only a few miles in when we heard:
“If you are behind the woman with the balloons, you need to move to the sidewalk.” Repeated every 10 seconds.
The woman with the balloons was the 6 hour marathon pacer. The man telling us to move to the sidewalk was a cop. And I seriously have never felt more anxiety in a race before. I knew we were slow, but I didn’t think we were THAT slow. So we picked it up a bit. Jogged a bit. And got in front of the pacer.
Turns out the anxiety was for nothing. The pacer stopped and told a race marshall that the cop was wrong and needed to get off his bull horn. The only people that needed to be worried at that point were the walkers doing the full marathon.
Awesome. Thanks, Mr. Cop Man.
At some point, we fell in with the 3:30 half marathon pacer, so at least now we had an idea of where we needed to be until the finish.
The rest of the time? We just talked and it was glorious. We caught up on each other’s lives. We laughed. We cried…especially during the Angel Mile. The race benefits Columbus Children’s Hospital and mile 11 is Angel Mile…
One special mile on the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon is dedicated to the Angels who are no longer here with us. Families coming together to support one another, share memories, and celebrate the days they shared with their children will make this mile an experience that gives this marathon a new meaning. When you run through the Angel Mile, run for those kids who have finished their race, and be inspired to take advantage of every single day.
It’s my favorite mile of the race.
We found Dave and the kids cheering for us at the finish line, and we finished arms held high. We collected our medals and headed to lunch.
I’m glad I did it. It was a much nicer “possible last race” than Harpers Ferry, no doubt.