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 deal....it 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!!