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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Spectating the Marine Corps Marathon

First of all, I should mention that it snowed yesterday here in Maryland. At our house, we got 6 inches of snow, yet down near my office (20 miles south), they only had  a trace. It's the first time that I ever remember it snowing more than a dusting before November 1. The last time I remember it snowing quite this early was on Veterans Day 1987, where about 6 or 8 inches of snow fell out of the blue on the day that my fourth grade class was supposed to go next door the the cemetery and place American Flags on the graves of veterans (we still did, which is why it stands out in my head). The weird part about the snow yesterday was that we really hadn't even had a hard frost yet.  The leaves are still on the trees, and it was a wet, sticky snow that stuck and caused the branches to bend over all crazy-like.
Our deck on Saturday
I had cleaned off my car last night around 9pm as the snow tapered off, but the snow was so wet that when the light dusting fell later in the night and the temperature dropped, it created a nasty bit of ice. So, when I was out there at 5:45am this morning trying to go meet my friends for the Marine Corps Marathon, I ended up breaking my ice scraper off trying to get my windshield wipers to even work. In October, I'm clearly not practiced in clearing snow.

As I headed down, it was clear that we received more snow that other parts of Maryland. The snow was totally gone by the time I was getting close to my running store. Weird. Anyway, I met my friend Beth at the store, and then we picked up Ann & Misty on our way down. Beth works in DC, so we parked at her building and took the Metro to about mile 10. The course was different this year than it was in 2006 and 2007 when I ran the race, and I think the changes were for the better. The dreaded Haines Point is now miles 12-14 instead of 17-20, and it comes before the National Mall. I think this is a terrific change.
My group member Patti at Mile 10

We saw plenty of runners. From mile 10, we headed to 15/16 on Independence Avenue, and then to mile 20 where the cutoff is for runners to pass the 14th Street Bridge. We saw many runners from our groups, but the ones we saw the most (at every place) were fellow group leader Lynn and two runners from her group, as well as my two runners from my group.

Oh, I am so proud of my two group members, Ming and Pat. They. were. awesome. They looked great every time I saw them. They did AMAZING, and I'm just so, so happy for them. They finished strong!!! :)
Ming at Mile 16 showing that course who is boss.

It was crazy being at Mile 20, because we were able to see the buses arrive to close down the course and sweep the runners. This year, they also pulled runners from the course at mile 17, so there were not as many trying to beat the bridge at that point as in previous years. Still, it was emotional to see the runners who just barely made the cut, and those who didn't make it.

It was an amazing day. I loved watching this race. To be honest, I loved it so much more than when I ran it  myself. One more week until MY marathon. Tonight, I am one happy group leader.
Cheering on the runners at Mile 20
All of these photos are courtesy of Misty Jones-Long...

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abbi said...

The snow was crazy! Looks like it was a great day at MCM though!

Kandi said...

The snow yesterday was crazy! We only got about an inch. My parents drove to my house from Western MD and they got hit pretty hard and had a slow drive down.

Keri @ Blue-Eyed Runner said...

What a fun day! I heard this is such a great race!

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