I headed downtown bright and early because I wanted to see the elites run by. One of my running group friends, Diane, carpooled with me as we parked and walked to our designated spot: Mile 17. After watching some of the speedy wheelchair racers go by, it was time for the elite men. Diane had never spectated a marathon before so I told her she was in for a treat! The first pack sped past us in a blink and Diane grabbed a quick pic (better than mine).
Not too far behind was the elite I was most excited about seeing, Dathan Ritzenhein!
This interview video from Flotrack is great. Dathan talks about some of the mistakes he made (even elites make mistakes) and how he struggled with the "Roosevelt Hill" (just like the rest of us)!
After the elite men went by, it was time for the elite women!
After the elites, we had some down time before our first group of friends came by. We decided to make the most and take some more photos!
|Diane and I at mile 17|
|My general store was quite the site.|
I ran with Maggie from mile 16-23. It was nice to sing along to Gangham Style (complete with the dance) as well as cheer for the runners while they were running. People looked at me as if I was crazy and that I had too much energy! That was why I was there! To help boost the energy of those that didn't have it anymore. :) I hopped out at mile 23, knowing that Maggie could finish this race at ease (and she totally did). Next up, I hopped in with Amanda and ran with her until they pulled me off the course.
I think Amanda was smiling much more here, at mile 24 than when I left her at 25.5. Either way, I'm glad I was able to help her reach her goal! Amanda got a shiny new PR and finished under her ultimate goal time as well. You can check out her race recap here.
Afterwards, I walked to the Congress Hotel to congratulate all my Yankee Runner friends. The FNRC was pretty split up after the race so it was hard to get together.
Either way, I had an absolute blast out there cheering for all my pals along the way! I'm surprised I still have a voice, to be completely honest. It was a great day and this only fuels my desire to get out there and give the Chicago Marathon another attempt. We have some unfinished business! (To read about my Chicago Marathon experience the first time around, you can check out my post here.)
CONGRATULATIONS to all the finishers, whether you PRed, completed your first marathon, or just crossed the finish line with a smile on your face. You are all awesome and I hope to join you out there again some day! :)