Sunday, October 4, 2009

Twin Cities Marathon - Spectator Report

Where do I begin? First, I did not run the race. (I can't remember if I said that before or not.) My leg is still pretty sore and I would most certainly hurt myself further if I tried to finish. Not the manly play for sure. Probably the smart one.

SOOO, for the first time ever I was a full time spectator. I've volunteered, but never been a Marathon roadie. What better for my first time than watching my best friend run the "World's most beautiful urban marathon". Minneapolis to St Paul.

First things first, the expo and.... Hal Higdon!

He was there signing copies of his new novel. I bought a copy and had him sign my bib. It was especially cool to see him since I've followed his training plans for all of my races. However, it was especially ironic because the bib is my one and only DNS. Super! He spoke for a few minutes at the expo in what can only be described as a 15 minute single breath that covered 15 different topics. I was sort of disappointed. He was all over the place. Maybe it had something to do with the high voltage behind him?

Interestingly, he mentioned that he hadn't ran a full marathon since 2002 and most of his runs now cover less than a mile. Believe me, I'm going to be remembering BOTH of those things the next time that I need to go on a 20 miler. Of course, the fact that he has run 111 marathons (one of which in the 2:20's) will never enter my mind.

Other than Hal, the expo was very busy and pretty similar to other big expos I've been to. I tried to hold off on the free samples, but they call my name every time.

Now the race. The plan was to see my buddy at miles 7, 11, 18, 21, and at the finish. My jobs were to drive, cheer on the runners, and possibly jump out of the way of any errant spittle. I have to say that I executed each flawlessly.

Here is Nick at mile 7. He looked like he was doing GREAT (which he was)! Check the pink gloves. $1 Target dollar spot. Score.

We caught him again at 11 and again at 17. He looked great each time. Unfortunately, our last spot at mile 21 was about a quarter of the way through the very last two mile long hill. A lot of the runners looked pretty tough. But, Nick grabbed a GU and powered through.

Of course, I needed to give the runners the kind of advice that I live by day in and day out.

Strangely, I didn't get many laughs at mile 17 and 21. I wonder why!!

Nick finished with a new PR and most importantly received the all important mylar blanket.

I asked Nick to provide a few comments and I'd post them for him. So, stay tuned for those!

All in all, I had a good time watching the race. I'd totally do it again. Although, I wish that I could have been running, I will admit that watching wasn't a bad alternative.

My wife was totally right (I hate it when that happens). It doesn't seem like the elites are running any faster than anyone else (11 mph vs 7mph doesn't seem like that big of a is trust me), cheering is nearly as much fun as running, and time flies when you are running around trying to beat your friends to the next meeting point. Gosh, you'd think that Nick could have slowed down a bit and made it easier on us!!


RazZDoodle said...

Why did they put Higdon in the boiler room?

RunnuRMark said...

Smart move with the spectating...I hope I can make the same smart decision when I'm injured before I race someday (it will happen). Nice job cheering on your bud - I'm sure he appreciated the good support. Take care of that leg.

Julia said...

Looooove those posters! I for sure would have been peeing my pants laughing....!!

The Sean said...

Hal Higdon must have done something to piss somebody off.

Nice artwork!

Pat said...

Did you see Hal on Saturday? I was there. Back right near the entrance. I got Hal's book too.

A little girl on Summit had a sign that said "Don't step in the poop". I asked her if there was a lot of it up ahead.

OhMyLaughter said...


Meeting Hal Higdon pretty much makes up for the few and far between B list celebs you've seen in airports. VERY jealous of you. the Twin Cities. I worked there for 4 months. I wear my Minnesota t-shirt in VA races when I can because it stands out from the crowd and gets a lot of random support!

Michelle said...

That is very cool that you were there to cheer your buddy on!!! Good going SIR!!!

How are you??

aron said...

you are very awesome for going out there to cheer in a race you couldnt run! i hope you are back out there running again soon!! in the meantime i think spectating is so fun :)