Monday, October 11, 2010

Portland Marathon - Spectators Recap

What a fun weekend!  This was the first marathon I have spectated, I think...yah, I'm pretty sure it was.  The idea of spectating sounds easy, right?  Wrong, it's not as easy as one would think.  I have a whole new appreciation for all of those spectators out there.  It's a lot of work, a lot of planning and re-planning.  Mel and I had our plan set and then of course like every good plan, it changed.  But really I think it changed for the better.  We had to rely on our own transportation and not the City's.

"Let's Do This"
(Spectator Tip #1: Always expect the unexpected and KEEP on Keeping on)

I had no idea how rainy and windy it was until I walked out to Mel's car...wowzer!  Rain and wind...and a lot of it.  Poor runners!  Our first task was to find parking and after I forced Mel to break the law

(Spectator Tip #2: Break rules, laws...whatever it takes). 

**Just a warning, BLURRY pictures ahead!  Camera phones don't take good action shots, even if it's on the ACTION SHOT setting!  Lesson learned!

And the Elites go by...

Here comes Janna in the yellow!

Go Amanda, GO!
Mel is a ruler follower and she struggled as I forced her to do it...go down a one way street the wrong way!  And to add to it...a cop car was coming as we were turning off, but to our luck...he wasn't too concerned with us.  See's ok!  We got a KILLER spot for our first spectating site, Mile 1 and Mile 4!  It was  little confusing watching both sides, but we got to see the elites go by and then we waited for our friends to run by.  First we saw Janna and then not too far after, Amanda ran by.  We were so excited to see them.  We waited for a little while and then headed back to our car for the next venture!  Oh and I had forgot the map...which is totally needed when spectating, so after a quick trip back to my mom's we were on our way to St. Honore for some coffee and almond croissants...and Mile 12!  We lucked out with a parking spot in front of the coffee place and 2 blocks from Mile 12...nice. 

Mile 12 was a GREAT spot!  We talked to other spectators and waited for our friends.  We were thrilled when we saw Julie and she was KILLING it.  She was looking strong.  Portland is great because the bib's have names on it, which is a SPECTATORS dream, well mine at least.  It makes it so much more fun to yell out peoples name, even though you don't know them.  I know hearing my name on the marathon course helped me during those hard miles.  It's funny how excited you get when you see your friends...all of sudden you get louder and way more excited.  Sarah, from Run Like a mother...she was on her way to her first BQ!!!  Way to GO SARAH!  Janna was our next friend who was way to focused to notice her annoyingly loud spectators!  She was looking good, as usual.  Next up was Amanda!  She wasn't feeling great and as soon as we she saw us, there was a lot of emotions happening.  It's hard seeing your friends not feeling great, you just want to pull them off, warm them up and chat, but I knew she wanted to finish.  She said she did, so we encouraged her and she was on her way.  Sometimes friends are so helpful when we need it most and can give us strength when we don't have any at the moment.  I knew Amanda would do well, she always does. 

(Spectators tip #3: Running a marathon helps you be a better spectator)

The next plan was to find Amanda at Mile 18 and Mel would run with her until Mile 20.  We made the drive up to North Portland and found our way to the next stop.  We got another great spot.  Just a was still POURING RAN, buckets...I don't know how all the runners were doing it.  Not easy running conditions at all.  Whats fun about the mile markers is you see the same runners, it made it fun.  I was so glad to have Mel with me so I didn't look like a silly, solo spectator, much safer to have another person yelling with you...makes it look way more normal.  We were having a blast yelling for people that we didn't know.  We make a good team for this kind of thing, for sure.  Again we got to see Julie and she was still looking strong!  You were amazing Julie, great job!  It was cold and raining and I noticed a gal stop on the other side and I went over to see if she was ok, and she was freezing, but she told me she doesn't quit and she kept going.  Hope she made it through.  Cold and rain and be dangerous...not a great combo.   It was great seeing people with huge smiles on their face, that was so inspiring.  They were totally impressing me.  Next up was JANNA!  Looking amazing and going strong, still.  She is an awesome gal and just makes you want to run!  A few minutes later, Amanda was right in front of us.  Mel yelled, AMANDA and I think we totally startled her.  Amanda looked way more focused and in the game.  Mel and Amanda ran off and it was time for me to jump back in the car and meet them at Mile 20! 

Mel waiting at Mile 18
(Spectating tip #4: Wear clothes and shoes you can run never know when you will need to jump in to carry a friend to the next mile.  Also running to the finish line to see your friends cross the finish line...running may be involved)

Amanda and Mel are 3 people you see them (Amanda is in the white tank).  This was at mile 20, when Amanda was dropping Mel off.

Made a quick stop at Mile 20 to grab Mel and then it was off to the FINISH LINE!  I was so happy to hear from Mel, that Amanda was feeling better.  I knew she could do it and with only 6.2 miles left...she had it.  We made it back downtown and found a parking spot...oh about 10 blocks away.  We needed to run a little...only because we wanted to get a workout in!  We made it to the crazy, busy finish line and was shocked to see the set-up.  After about 15 minutes and realizing that Amanda hadn't finished yet, we found a spot so we could see her come in.  WE saw Julie come in and yelled as she came through the chute, next up was Harmony and Jess.  This was their FIRST marathon and they killed it with a time of 4:17!  Wow!  WAY TO GO LADIES!  They ran the whole race exciting.  We were so excited when we saw Amanda and Carrie come through the chute.  Woohooo....I knew she would make it.  

Spectating is FUN!  See how much fun we are having!

(Spectator Tip #5: Not everything will go smoothly, even if it was smooth most of the time)

We quickly went to the reunion area to meet-up with Amanda, but never found her.  It was time for Mel and I to get back to our families so after bit of waiting we headed back to our car.  We couldn't believe that we made all the mile markers that we had wanted and the we thought for sure the Finish line would be smooth, but no luck.  We did get to hang out with Tressa and her husband and also got to see Harmony and Jess which was fun to welcome them to the MARATHONERS club. 

Woo...that was long.  I'm long winded...what can you say?  Spectating is EXHAUSTING...I had no idea.  I was freezing and soaked and couldn't wait to get home to take a warm bath. 

CONGRATS to everyone who ran this past weekend.  Portland amazed me with the crappy weather you were dealt, yet you endured and came through the RAIN! WAY TO GO.  I continue to be impressed by marathoners and all they do in 26.2 miles!  Way to go.


track coach and adorable wife said...

You guys did awesome at spectating! It was amazing how much you got around! I was glad I got to see you again, hope to run with you again soon!

Stacie said...

I feel like a complete failure. I'm so bummed that I was so far behind and had such a terrible run. I really wish I could have seen you guys.

Stacie said...

I forgot to add you guys totally rock. What awesome and amazing friends you are.

Marlene said...

Wow, it sounds like a tough day for runners AND spectators. You guys are awesome for sticking it out to cheer for your buddies!!!

Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS said...

That's a great reacap! And helpful since I'll be spectating my boyfriend's first half marathon next month.

You've made me you think it's worth it to buy on the the spectator packages for Disney?

abbi said...

Loved the recap from the spectator's view! I'm sure every runner was happy you were out there in the rain too!

k2323 said...

There should be a spectating medal for you and Mel! Great job!

Lisa said...

Love this. You guys are one supportive group. Nice to have the support in such horrible running conditions. Kudos to you and Mel!

momof3 said...

OH I LOVED this "race recap"! What a great friend you are!

Julie D. said...

Really, everyone must learn from you guys on spectating a marathon. AMAZING!!! thank you so much!!!!! And yes, marathoners make better spectators!!! Hugs.

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

You are a ROCK STAR!! We could have never done this without your Portland knowledge. What a fun fun day..even the mess ups turned out OK.

You have Amazing vision, a great spirit and you just make people SMILE!! I am a better person having you as a friend :)

Jodi H said...

Thoroughly enjoyed your recap! I am the one in my group of friends that has no sense of direction and always hands off the car keys! I appreciate the willingness of others to drive so I don't get us lost!!

Zaneta said...

LOVED this spectating report!! :D you guys ROCK at spectating!! :D Seriously... wanna come cheer me on in the future?! ;) lol

ashleyshaddy said...

You guys are awesome to cheer everyone on in the crazy rain. Wish Julie & I could have made the dinner so we could visit with you gals. next time around. Happy Running!!!

Jess "Blonde Pony" said...

Thanks for the shout out Jill!! So glad to meet and look forward to following your blog!!!

FruitFly said...

Weather conditions aside, that sounds like a really fun experience! I can only imagine how appreciative all the runners were when you guys were cheering!

It almost sounds like you were on a little scavenger hunt of your own. Glad you didn't end up behind bars. ;)

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