Thursday, May 01, 2008

Country Music Marathon, Spec Report

Man, this week has flown by!! Between a few visits from the alarm company to correct a few things on the new system that weren't working properly, visits from more roofing contractors, work, and a trip to the veterinary ophthalmologist today for Pippin it's been one crazy week. But it's time to rewind to last Saturday and the Country Music Marathon!!

Our alarm went off at 6 am, which is way too early for us on a Saturday. We threw on some bike clothes and a few things into our knapsacks and then decided it was raining too hard to ride from home to Centennial Park. So we threw the bikes in the car and left at 6:30 and promptly got stuck like rats in a maze in our neighborhood, and I managed to leave the nice pamphlet they mail out to the neighborhood showing the closures at home. Blah. At 6:45 we were still circling and ended up just parking at the stadium with all the runners, basically only saving us 1.5 miles from home. The rain had slacked off so we got our bikes out and headed towards the park. The main thing I really wanted to see was the start, which we ended up completely missing with the traffic tie-up. We made it to the corner of the first turn of the race a few minutes after 7, and only missed seeing the first 3 corrals. The sea of people was nonstop (I think there was somewhere between 25,000-30,000 people??), but we did manage to pick out Jill, a coworker of mine, and then another coworker. Several people had told me what they were wearing so that really helped! We hung out through around corral 12 at that spot before moving on. (There were at least 32 corrals because I had a friend in corral 32!)

From there we rode by Music Row and decided to try to get ahead of most of the runners and get a glimpse of the elites. We headed over another row and staked out a spot outside Sambuca right at the 15K mark. Based on the helicopter placement we knew the lead runner would be coming through soon, and we seriously weren't there more than 2 or 3 minutes before he came tearing through. We had a great spot on a corner with a bunch of other bike people and as time went on more and more people came over from Music Row. At first whenever someone would come through the cheering would erupt, and then the individual runners soon became a sea of people again. It was so insanely hard to pick people out of the crowd!! Before long we saw our college buddy "B" come running through, and like every year she had a camera. I love the pic we got of her!! She ended up running a 1:35, she's crazy!!! Normally I just hear Brent tell me about how fast she came through, it was great to actually see it myself this year. A while later we saw David and Michele, and then a few minutes later I saw a coworker again, having a great time! He and his running buds actually pulled off and stopped for a photo. We even saw Brent's college marketing professor, who had NO CLUE who we were (it's been 10 years and we have certainly changed, plus I think the bike helmets make us even tougher to recognize!).

My form is soooo similar to his..

I'm thinking this "cyclist" sort of just happened upon the race....

Our super fast friend B:

And this is the picture she took of us, Brent is down taking a pic and I'm on the corner apparently flapping my "wings"!

David and Michele looking great:

Riding over the runners via Demonbreun:

From there we rode over to the marathon finish line, and only had to wait about 5 minutes for the first marathon finisher. We watched the first few come through before riding back out on the marathon course. We met the first female finisher coming in, and it was great to have such an up close experience with her! We stopped and cheered for her and she looked over at us and smiled, so cool! We staked out a spot around the Mile21/25 spot. We'd only been there a few minutes when a redneck resident's dog started trying to attack the runners/spectators. Actually, their FOUR redneck dogs wanted to attack everyone. A policeman had to be called over to deal with it, ridiculous. We saw one of the reporters from News2 running a great race, then saw a former coworker of mine booking it and then a few minutes later saw Michele looking so strong!! And then....there was the dead snake. It turns out right by our spot there was a snake that had been run over a few times. Every once in a while we'd get a runner asking us "uhh.....was that a snake?" And then sometimes it would just crack us up watching the runners step smack on it. After nearly 5 hours of cheering and being soaked through from the early rain, and then just cold and shivering all morning, it didn't take much to amuse us.

News 2 guy:

Snake on the road...:

Runner stepping on snake and realizing it....

Michele finishing strong!

Around noon we started riding back towards the start, I'm not even sure how we missed seeing the rest of the people we were looking for, and how we ended up seeing some people only once. The parking lot at the stadium was massive gridlock so we just rode our bikes home and went back later for the car. Spectating was fun, but nowhere near as fun as running it! It's crazy how large (and ridiculously expensive) this race has gotten. I think it's already $70 to sign up for the half right now....a year away!! Contrast that with the 10 miler next month I just signed up for that's only $25. Sure there's no big expo or flashy bands every mile....but that's ok. I'd rather have the money in my pocket anyway.

SO, that's my CMM report and if I get industrious I may even get my Opry report up tonight, too! (but highly doubtful!) Have a great night!


At 8:37 AM, Blogger Jill said...

Hugs to you 2 for the great picture. This really shows how much fun I had on the course!


At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You had a much more eventful viewing than I did. I just watched from Shelby Park so I was the tail end of things.

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Cory said...

My god I hate snakes. Only seen two in my life, and neither were during a 5k race I was wheeling. Praise the whatevers!

At 6:46 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Awesome spectator recap! I really want to do that race sometime, but yikes, snake? We get squirrels sometimes, but haven't seen a snake yet.

At 5:31 PM, Blogger jeanne said...

wow great photos! you two have such stamina (I mean i know the marathoners do too, but watching is hard work!)

you almost make running a marathon look like fun.


At 1:52 PM, Blogger Just12Finish said...

Great pics!


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