I experienced this fabulousness first-hand last weekend at the Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon in Providence, Rhode Island. I wasn’t keen on doing another half so soon after the SeaWheeze, so Hubby and I signed up to run the two-person relay. In keeping with the rock ’n’ roll theme, we declared that we would tackle this race in jorts.
Yes, you read that right. Jorts. We had been looking for the perfect run to send some denim love the way of Jill at JoggingJeans.com, running blogger nonpareil, and this was clearly it. Also, we’re not very rock ’n’ roll, so we needed all the help we could get. The situation clearly called for cut-off jeans.
But firsts things first. We picked up our bibs and shirts the day before the run at the customary race expo, where all the sparkly-headband vendors in the world come to mingle (seriously, how many headbands do people need?).
There we spied the most fabulous thing: port-a-loo fitting rooms. It’s amazing – and slightly disturbing – how much my life now revolves around the malodorous blue plastic zones of hell that are race port-a-potties, so I definitely appreciated the humor. It also made me heart Brooks just a little bit more (the “loos” were in their section, although I don’t know who was responsible for them).
The event itself was on a glorious day. I’m so happy I can finally write that, after spending the past three months running in a pressure cooker.
I was doing the five-mile first leg, which of course was the part with all the hills. Yes, the inexperienced, challenged-in-the-lung-department runner gets the part with all the hills, while Mr. Speedy McSpeederson-I-run-hills-in-my-sleep gets the flat bit. I guess his section was farther. And he did have a wicked uphill finish. But still …
The run was corralled at the start, and Hubby wanted me to go into one of the speedier zones so I wouldn’t get caught up among the slowpokes at the back and take a gazillion hours to get to him. Er, I am one of the slowpokes at the back. Anyway, I started in corral four, which would have been fine had the course not immediately taken us up a giant hill. So epic was this slope that normally I would have walked it (you know,
because I am crap and can’t run hills to conserve my energy). But I didn’t want to shame myself among the hard-core corral-four folk, so I ran like the wind and nearly expired.
Did I mention I was wearing jorts? Tight jorts? Jorts that rode up in various places and had little wisps of denim that annoyingly crept down the back of my legs? I was surprised by the lack of jorts-related comments I received (Hubby got lots). Then I realized it was probably because they were so dang tight they probably looked like stretchy gym pants. Or maybe the other runners were just too embarrassed for me to look in my direction.
Because we were doing the relay, we had to run with a drum stick. (Not the chicken variety, although that would have made for some good snacking along the way.) It was kind of uncomfortable (even more than the jorts?) and I had to keep switching hands. I thought later that I could have used it to poke people and make them get out of my way … if I were ever in the position that I was going fast and needed people to get out of my way. We are now the proud owner of a pair of sticks. (I may have to bequeath them to my drummer dad, who is way more rock ’n’ roll than me.)
Appropriately, there were lots of bands playing along the course, and a great lineup of groups at the finish. I’d heard good and bad things about these Rock ’n’ Roll events, but this one was fantastic and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. How can you not love a race that has cheerleaders waving golden pom-poms at you as you go by?
There was a giant hill at mile four that knocked the wind out of me. It was tough enough to walk it let alone run. But on the other side, a glorious, glorious downhill took me right into the relay exchange and into Hubby’s open arms (OK, he really just wanted the stick).
My relay buddy made up for my slowpokery with a blistering eight miles and we came in 22nd overall in the two-person relay category, and 13th among the co-eds. Not a bad showing, I thought, considering we were both in denim.
The event: Rock ’n’ roll Providence Half-Marathon relay
The location: Providence, R.I.
The date: August 19, 2012
My time: 53.12 (5 miles)
Hubby’s time: 59.51 (8.1 miles)
The cause: No charity, so we gave $25 to the Easter Seals
The T-shirt: Blue tech tee
The aftermath: Fruit cups, bananas, and popsicles for those at the finish line; bananas for the relayers.