Monday, May 3, 2010

No shuttle buses. No Port-A-Johns. No problem!

Jennifer and I missed the official start of the 5k.  So if there was a starting gun, I didn't hear it.  And I was really looking forward to hearing the starting gun and feeling the rush of adrenaline that was sure to come afterward. 

But I needn't have worried.  I got my fill of adrenaline.

The organizers arranged for special parking for all of the 5k participants at a local race track with shuttle bus service to the Race for the Cure event site at Salem College.  Unfortunately, they only scheduled three buses (2 and a half if you consider that one of the buses was a short bus!) to shuttle all of the runners and walkers back and forth.  And they were expecting 10,000 participants.  So if you do the math...

After standing in line for the shuttle for over 35 minutes without much movement and realizing that the race was going to start in less than 20 minutes we decided we had better make a run for it.  So we followed the hundreds and hundreds of other people who realized they weren't going to make it on the shuttle either. 

Luckily they knew where they were going because we sure didn't.

I estimate that we walked at least a mile or a mile and a half before the race even started.  We were rushing to the gathering area and we were moving pretty fast.  Our nervousness was long gone by now.  At this point we were both just frustrated, annoyed and irritated.  And we both had to pee.  As we trotted past the ten porta-johns, we knew we were going to have to hold it.  Once again you do the math...ten Port-A-Johns...ten thousand participants...

Finally we could see the starting line and could tell by what the announcer was saying that the timed racers had already started.  We began to push and squeeze our way through the crowds of walkers and untimed runners that were getting ready to go and we finally made it to the mat at the starting line  (You have to run across the mat to activate the timing chip in your shoe.  This is how they determine your final time.)

And then without a second thought or a pause we took off running.  Getting to the starting line was so chaotic and annoying that we didn't even think about the fact that we were actually starting our first 5k or that we had to go to the bathroom - we just took off.

I had already told Jennifer she could leave me behind.  She starts much faster than I do and I didn't want to hold her up.

I had my iPod and my music was playing but I didn't hear much of it.  I knew I was doing the first mile with all of the hills but I didn't even feel them or notice them really.  The adrenaline had kicked in and I was running. 

I was weaving in and out of traffic.  I was actually passing people.  A lot of the walkers started before they were supposed to so I had to maneuver around them and slower runners.

I tried to keep Jennifer in my sight but she had gotten way ahead of me and soon she was lost in a sea of women with blonde ponytails, white shirts and black pants. 

I saw the one mile marker and I felt victorious!  I was doing it!  I had easily made it up the uphill section of the course.   

The second and third miles went by fairly quickly as well.  There were lots of local cheerleaders stationed throughout the course cheering which really did make a huge difference.  I felt important.  I felt like they were cheering for me and only me. 
Right before I saw the sign marking then end of mile three, Jennifer came running up beside me.  I had caught up to her and had passed her without even realizing it.  We ran the last one tenth of a mile together and crossed the finish line at exactly the same time!  Her time was also 31:02.  I love that!

So, I guess I need to biskly walk a mile and a half before my next 5k and make sure I need to go to the bathroom.  Apparently it does wonders for my speed!

Tired but happy!


Denise said...

You are awesome.

Adrienne said...

great job!

Kimberly said...

Thanks for that description....I feel like I was right there doing the potty dance with you! Ha. Seriously though, for your first 5-K, that was an awesome time!

Chris said...

That is so completely awesome!!!

Pam said...

I just love how you tell stories. After your last post, I had not idea there was so much drama involved. Glad to know the rest of the story!

jennwa said...



We are RUNNERS !!!!!

Avery & Hailey said...

Great job!!! Glad you did well and ugh, sorry about that whole drama at the beginning!!