|Amy, Andrew, Mandy, Kumar and Lynne (not pictured Rachel, Sue, Laurie and Deb)|
So instead of being down in the dumps on THE DAY I found myself at the starting line of the half marathon and was thrilled by the sea of people lined up to run thirteen point one. I was not running but the energy was still brilliant and contagious! Instantly, I was grateful to be down there in the midst of that energy even though I was not running.
I did a quick search for a couple of people but quickly discovered that there was NO way I was going to have the opportunity to wish people a great race. I sent a couple of texts, made a couple of last minute good luck phone calls and then I stood near the start patiently waiting to see my people start their adventure. I saw some, missed others but was ultimately pleased with the smiles and excitement of all the runners.
I went and gathered my bicycle out of the car and headed to mile seven of the race. At that point I started seeing the struggle on the faces of some runners. I started shouting names on the bibs of runners and the smiles started to reappear. I saw Mandy, Amy, Andrew, Lynne, Lisa and many others run by all looking very strong. I headed down to mile nine and a half and once again saw Andrew and Lynne run by. Again still smiling.
I then found myself at mile eleven. I do think my friends started thinking I was crazy as I told them I would be at the midway point but I just wasn't done following them around the city. Here I saw Mandy, Amy and Andrew run by and I started getting emotional. They all looked very good despite the heat and humidity. One of them asked if they could have my bike and I chuckled. After seeing Andrew dash by I quickly started making my way to the finish line. At this point I stood there cheering on the runners as they made their way up the final hill.
First came Mandy and then everyone else started filing in ALL still looking amazing! I found myself tearing up and can honestly say it was NOT because I was on the sidelines but instead because I was able to be a very small part of this journey for my friends. For that I will be forever grateful!!!