But let's back up a bit. The night before the race, Brian and I went to the Health and Fitness expo to pick up our race packets and t-shirts. I actually got an extra technical t-shirt because I work for Covenant health and they are a corporate sponsor for the event. Here we are with our bibs and the 5k route map:
The expo was packed full of people and it got me all anxious. So, what did we do? We went to Market Square where there were MORE people out for Rhythm and Blooms. We actually had a lovely dinner at Tomato Head, delivered my best friend, Christi's race packet to her, listened to a couple of Robinella songs and then headed home. Oh and this happened:
The morning of the race, we got up at 5:15. Our race didn't start until 7:45, but we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to be ready, eat breakfast, and get there before parking got bad. Check, check, and check - everything went as scheduled. Not so with poor Christi, she woke up sick, tried to make it, but, wisely, turned back home.
|Starting line was at the Sunsphere.|
Fun fact: we got engaged very near this landmark.
|red nose - it was COLD!|
We watched the marathon and half-marathon runners start. Then it was our turn. We squeezed hands, wished each other a good race and were off. This course was far hillier than the New Year's day 5k. It is Knoxville afterall. I shudder to think of what the half and full marathoners had to survive. I am proud to say that I didn't stop to walk once. Not even on the hill right after the turn around that I thought might kill me.
While I was on that hill, I saw Brian and gave him a wave. Then I saw another girl just ahead of me wave at him too. It was our friend, Jennifer Pence! We stayed near each other in pace for the rest of the time.
Before I knew it, we were trucking down Cumberland and then making the turn toward Neyland Stadium. The finish line was on the 50 yard line - super awesome. We were trotting up a little hill and there was the 26 mile marker for the marathoners (.2 to go). Then there was the 3 mile marker (.1 to go!) I kicked it into high gear and really busted it to the finish line, looking up just in time to catch myself on the Jumbotron - amazing!
Here are a couple of "just finished!" pics:
|Jen and me :)|
Our friend, Chris Ladd, who came out just to cheer us on, was in the bleachers. He's so cool to come support us. Too bad neither of us heard his cheers because we had earphones in :(
|Brian, Chris, and Sparticus (aka the best dog ever)|
Clock time: 37:16 (nearly 3 minutes faster than New Year's day! woot!)
Chip time: 36:19.9
Average pace: 11:43