10 Things I Really Liked About the Richmond Marathon
1. It was the last race of the season. I ran a lot this fall and was pretty tired. Towards the end of the race, the idea of having the following week off was pretty enticing.
2. I got to run it with my friend Linda. She is someone I truly enjoy running with, but I haven't had an opportunity to do it much this year. It was an extra treat.
3. Maybe because she is such a nice person, Linda has fantastic karma. We were not only able to find a marvelous parking spot, but the lot was right next to the Richmond Omni hotel. We stopped in there to check out the possibility of using the not-porta-potties in the lobby, and it turned out the lobby was like a Runner's Lounge, full of spandex-clad people chatting, stretching, and waiting in line for the not-porta-potties.
4. When we made our way to the start, we ran into some of the Red Felt Run Club folks who were doing the race!
|The official meet-up had been at 7 am, which we missed because of the rain and the traffic. I was so surprised and happy to see these beautiful people and pop into a picture!|
6. The scenery is beautiful, running down Monument Avenue, out to the West End of the city and along the James River. As we headed west, we passed a Henrico County police officer minding an intersection. A generously proportioned fellow, leaning up against his squad car. We thanked him for being there. He nodded and offered: "You're looking well, ladies," in an accent that sounded kind of like this guy's:
|"You're looking well, ladies."|
There was an unofficial party zone down on Riverside Drive, in one of the (otherwise) quieter parts of the course. A man had driven down there in his SUV with his teenage kids, set up a turntable and microphone and he just played tunes and shouted encouragement while the kids danced and waved. Nice! He had my favorite quote of the day: "Run with some pep in your step and a spark in your heart!"
8. Late in the race, all the spectators were partying, zone or no zone. We ran by a bar with a patio full of young guys with beers in their hands. They went crazy when an attractive woman in a tutu ran by ("TU-TU! TU-TU! TU-TU!"), jumping up and down. Up on balconies and down on the sidewalks, people had all their friends over and were having a good time, like the marathon was a good excuse for a party.
9. Another thing about Richmonders -- they bring the snacks. At several spots in the course people had BIG boxes of donuts for the runners. There were soda stops, and bags of cookies and gummy bears, even beer and champagne. Some day I am going to get brave enough and fun enough to partake. On Saturday, I stuck to Hammer Gel.
10. At the downhill finish, Linda and I found a little something extra in our feet and tore down the hill and across the finish line like there was pizza at the end. And there WAS! And also our friend Robert, who kicked butt in the half marathon, took a tour of Richmond, then came back to make sure we didn't collapse on the way to our cars.
|He looks pretty fresh after running hard for a little less than 2 hours, no?|