It was freezing and windy on Saturday morning, and I was kind of reluctant to leave the warm house. I put on leggings, a long sleeved shirt, and gloves. I ran to Audubon Park first. The race started at 7am - the same time I left the house - but wouldn't reach mile 7 in the park for awhile. I thought I'd run in the park before the race reached it. As I headed toward the end of the loop, I ran into a group of Varsity runners! They'd planned their long run for prime spectating, and were about to head down St. Charles ave, so I joined them. It's my first group run back since surgery (well, I walked with another injured runner once. But I hadn't run with them.)
|Here's the overall winner. Credit LRC.|
I was surprised that not too many people I knew were running. My friend Melissa was, though, and in fact she was in second place when she passed! Once we reached Lee's Circle, the race was in full swing. My friends continued their run, but I turned around and headed back. I got on the sidewalk, since in a few minutes the leaders would be coming back up St. Charles. Sure enough, I got another chance to see everybody, and Melissa was now caught up to the first place girl, just breathing down her neck at mile 11. Exciting!
I went back to the park, and even though there were still runners racing, they were far apart and some of the last runners, so I could easily make a loop without getting in their way. I got some cheering and encouragement in before heading home to complete a slow and easy 14 miles. It's a post-surgery distance record!
And Melissa did end up placing second - I thought she might sneak into first, but still an awesome job by her. Wish I'd seen her finish!
My favorite parts of spectating:
- Seeing the leaders speed up the avenue behind the pace car
- Seeking out familiar faces and cheering them by name. I know from experience that that's a pick-me-up!
- Helping runners out: Sometimes the fast ones want to know how far back the competition is or who is behind them.
- Cheering on kids on the course! We have a couple of local kids who run long distances, including half-marathons, and I love getting to cheer them on. They are super determined.
- Goofing around at the aid stations. I usually know half the people at the aid stations, too, and don't mind popping in to help when they have a crowd.
What's the last race you spectated? Do you ever run-spectate near the course? What's your favorite part of spectating?