Lincoln Marathon - Spectating

I watched and cheered at the Lincoln marathon today. Greg too. The following took place...

5:?? -- Julie's alarm woke everybody up. Greg went back to sleep. I stayed up to see Julie off for 15 minute walk to the start. After she left, I showered and then studied maps. I had a tight spectating schedule planned and no navigator.

I had it on good authority that the park (lower right) was a high value target.

7:00 -- My navigator woke up. My first stop was an 8:15 am visit to the 12.5 mile marker just a few blocks from my hotel. I gave Greg a Lärabar and he asked, "Want breakfast?" You're holding it, buddy. Having quickly grown accustomed to hotel continental breakfasts, he had been excited for hotel breakfast. He eventually forgave me, but I wasn't soon allowed to forget.

7:35 -- Greg and I arrived at the 8:15 stop. Too early. Much too early. We wandered a bit and in a moment of desperation I started pointing out how cool a police car was. The police officer saw. Without any runners to keep him at his post, he wandered over and offered to let Greg sit in the police car. Things got awkward. "No, it's okay, not in back." He opened the driver door, I went to let Greg into the passenger side. "No, over here, he can sit in the driver's seat." Greg saw buttons. ALL THE BUTTONS! Greg became an octopus. "He can push this button." Greg got to run the horn. We both thought that was pretty cool. Eventually, we wore out our welcome and the police officer went back to his post.

8:20 -- I was beginning to get antsy. This 12.5 stop was kind of "extra" and I was just hoping for the best on making it to the park by 9:00. Greg's wants were starting to cycle between home and hotel breakfast. I tried to decide how long I should stay at this post before heading to the park.

8:21 -- Julie sighting! She saw us too! We cheered. Then, I grabbed Greg horizontally, using in a technique I designed for holding him while I run through the rain, and bolted.

8:45 -- We arrived at the park. Not just any spot either. I was parked near a secret tunnel that gave access to the park while avoiding race traffic. Another bonus: I parked so that the back of the car was in cover. Greg used his mobile toilet twice in that parking spot.

I do likes me some secret tunnel.

9:05 -- Julie sighting! I later learned that she really enjoyed seeing us at the turnaround. Hearing that made my happiness smile.

The star of the show for Greg was the away blue coat in the clump of 4 at right. She sometimes played a trumpet.

9:08 -- Julie sighting! Now she was running to the finish. Time to head that way myself.

9:08 - 9:55 -- I was stuck in traffic. I didn't plan a very smart route back and ended up solidly in the grips of marathon traffic paralysis. I was steaming. Instead of watching Julie finish, I was watching a sea of half marathoners ooze their way to the finish.

9:55 -- In a desperate gambit, I turned off the stuck road I'd been following and ended up driving 3 miles to the West before I could get back in line.

10:10 -- Another gamble, this time I followed a confidently swerving SUV through the Haymarket district and made it to my hotel's parking garage. The parking garage was full. I found my way to a pay-to-park not too far from the stadium where Julie would finish.

10:20 -- I met Julie on her way out of the stadium. I had operated under instructions to bring her a backpack containing mysterious stuff that she wanted immediately post-race. I think it was water and a shirt. I was very proud to have remembered to bring the backpack in from the car.

*   *   *

Julie had run well and she was happy. The sub 3:00 goal had been achieved. Though, she did have to raise some fuss because the results added 45 minutes to her time. Evidently, her chip had claimed she started the race at 6:15 instead of 7:00.

We were remarkably crunched on time getting checked out of the hotel. After Julie cleaned up, I needed to go dig the car out of the lot where I'd left it a few hours earlier. When I got back I noticed all of the towels were covered in brown splotches. Evidently, Greg had redecorated using Julie's coffee. We finally got everything wrangled and ourselves checked out about 3 minutes before the noon checkout deadline.

All morning I'd been texting another spectating crew (hi Lindsay and Liz!) things like, "I'm at X." Lindsay would respond with things like, "We're on our way to Y." We never managed to meet up, but we did get together with them and their runners (hi Arlene and Jesse!) for lunch afterwords. After all the rushing about, it was so nice to just settle down for a bit and a post-race visit to the pub for some convalescence was the perfect way to end the day.

The delicious fries did not help me kick my recent salt addiction.


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