Rather than give running some space, I decided to crowd the heck out of it this past weekend by doing a double-header. Bad idea? Maybe. But at least I would know how it really feels about me. (And I’d have a run up my sleeve for the 52 Weeks, 52 Runs challenge.)
Someone who has no issues defining his running relationship is Hubby, who on this all-running weekend decided to do a trifecta: a 5K (the previously mentioned Brian Betts run), a 10K trail run (the James River Scramble at the Dominion River Rock festival in Richmond, Va.), and the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon, in Fredericksburg, Va. (Overachiever.) Luckily for me, the Marine Corps folk also put on a 5K, the Semper Fred, thus saving me from potentially three more hours of torturous bib counting.
This was the fifth year of the Marine Corps Historic Half/Semper Fred, and it is one of those events that was organized so seamlessly and had so much energy, it was a joy to be a part of (despite starting at 7am). These guys also organize the 30,000-strong Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, Va. (October 28), which this year sold out in two hours, 41 minutes, a record for all marathons. Can you believe that? This is one well-loved race series.
Probably because it has a mascot called Miles …
And bands that play jaunty tunes as you run …
And porta-loos as far as the eye can see …
You’ve got to love a race that provides that many places to go before you go …
Wait, this is a run?
I don’t remember much about the running part of this run. I definitely watched the half-marathoners start (there were a lot of them). And I definitely lined up with a bunch of slightly-less-hard-core-but-no-less-enthusiastic folk for the 5K. I also definitely passed under a flag. I recall this because, apart from the fact I snapped a photo, I had a swell of national pride as I approached the giant Stars and Stripes suspended over the road by two cranes. Which is funny, because I am not American …
This was an extremely patriotic event, what with the huge military presence, so it was easy to get swept up in the feeling, even for a filthy foreigner such as myself.
I must have run though, because my face felt as red as the blazing Virginia sun (I understand why the run had to start at 7), and I took this photo. Proof!
But, again, the race was secondary to the event. Which in my case is a good thing, as I am beginning to understand that I kind of suck at the running, but am pretty damn good at the event-ing. This one had beer! It was also exceptionally fun. You’ve got to love a run that features someone roaming around in a giant, fuzzy George Washington suit.
OK, so I did run. Not the whole way (hills), but I came home stronger than I had in a while, and I generally felt pretty good, if exceptionally hot (the unflattering kind). So I have hope!
Twenty-two runs down, 30 to go.
The event: Semper Fred 5K (me), Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon (Hubby)
The location: Fredericksburg, Va.
The date: May 20, 2012
My time: 32.17 (pace: 10.23)
Hubby’s time: 1.46.16 (pace: 8.06)
The cause: There was no charity associated with this run, so we donated $25 to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program
The T-shirt: Gray cotton short-sleeved
The aftermath: Bagels, cheese & crackers, Gatorade, bananas, granola bars