Spectator-Cheerleader Review of St. Michael’s Running Festival ½ Marathon

I should be tired – I should be exhausted – I should be staring at my medal with pride…but I’m not – because I was not a runner yesterday at the St. Michael’s Running Festival ½ Marathon…however, I was a spectator and a cheerleader…that must count for something?! Honestly I was not thrilled at all when Jeff announced early this year that he signed up for the SMRF ½ Marathon…”Ugh! I don’t wanna do another ½ in May, we are doing a ½ in March – that is enough for me for the Spring” – this was my thought for a few weeks. Until I thought “What the heck, it’s only 13.1 miles!”….and I signed up.

When I checked out the flat and fast course I got excited and was looking forward to the race. Until…the Marines had other plans for me…ok, I know it’s not right to blame it on the Marines…but the “brutal” course at the Marine Corps 17.75K that we ran on March 23rd (my birthday) really did a number on me (what a great present!)…and since then I have been dealing with a nasty ITBS issue (yes, diagnosed by me and Dr. Google). So – after a few tears, I decided to switch down to the 5K at the SMRF…that shouldn’t be a problem!? Well…ummm….turns out I struggled to keep up with my 8 year old last weekend at the Race for the Cure 5K where she finished in 31:28…and I paid a painful price for 2 days after. As hard as it was (and with many more tears) I opted to not even pick up my number for the SMRF. I would only be a spectator and cheer Jeff on.

Thankfully Jeff suggested we bring the bikes. I scoped out the course the night prior and made a plan to see him on the course a few times (or more). It really stunk to see him walk out of the hotel room in the morning – without me. Boo hoo! “Pull yourself together you whiney, selfish little baby” I thought to myself as I got my cycling gear P1020683 P1020693

together and headed out. I took a slightly scenic detour to the start line and was happy to see Jeff – very close to the front of the pack, I ran over to tell him hi – hoping I was not embarrassing him with my alien helmet and bubble-butt running shorts (nice visual, huh?)! I headed down into the quaint little center of town – the streets were minutes from being closed so the traffic was almost non-existent. I sped down the middle of the street gazing at the cute little shops picking out my spot to catch my first glimpse of the runners. I found a great spot near some very nice volunteers and within minutes the runners were headed toward us. I spotted Jeff near the front of the pack – smiling and giving me a great photo-pose. I hopped on my bike and headed out toward the 3 mile mark where I was able to again catch some great pictures.

Since the road dead-ends about 15 miles out from St. Michael’s, the traffic soon disappeared and I had the road to myself! I actually enjoyed riding the course, staying in front of the runners and looking at the sights – really (yes, really!) I was happy and having fun! I road about 1 ½ miles past the turnaround point and headed back.

P1020695

Yup, I am happy!

P1020710

Looking serious and focused!

I saw the lead runner – wow – impressive pace – there were no other runners in sight! As I made my way back to town I took some time to take a few self-portraits of me enjoying the ride (I’m a bit strange like that – I love taking pics of myself!). Soon the other runners were in sight – and not long after I spotted Jeff – photo time! I don’t recall all the places I took pictures, but I will have to say it was definitely a spectator/cheerleader-on-bike-friendly course!

As I headed back toward town once again I gazed at the hundreds of people behind Jeff – and here is where I got choked up and a shed a few tears…I was jealous, envious, and sad – “pull it together little girl!”. I sped off. I rode back down farther into town and then looped back to find Jeff again – I took a video this time and was filming away when Jeff looks over and says “Just go to the finish!” – uh-oh…at this point he was tired of the paparazzi, yeah – overdid the picture-taking! Sadness swept over me again…I wished I were running. “Really?! What the heck – cheerleaders are supposed to be happy.”

P1020715

My sad face…

I put on a smile and made my way through the town – I watched some of the 10K finishers, rode back through town and then once again back to the finish area – clocking 18.5 miles. As I saw people walking with their ½ Marathon medals, once again I got emotional…

P1020726

Nice pose!!

“ok, keep your sunglasses on and put on a happy face!” I couldn’t see anything – the finish line space was small and congested…and not spectator-friendly. But it didn’t matter – I heard them announce Jeff’s name! I was happy to find him after the race and congratulate him! I was also happy to hear that he wasn’t super-mad at me for stalking him on the course!!

All in all I enjoyed the race, I’m still bummed I couldn’t run it – I would like to run it someday…in the meantime, while I am healing – I will dust off my pom-poms for Jeff’s next race…he better get used to his own personal paparazzi!

 

P1020714

Love this pic!

P1020701

Me – enjoying my ride…

Leave a Reply