I wasn’t feeling 100% great (who does at 5:30am), and certainly was not sure about doing this race. I wondered if this would be the one that I get swept or just quit (which is what I often feel in several races). But I started out, hoping for the best (and that I wouldn’t barf on somebody’s shoes in case the need arose somewhere along the course).
The first four miles were along the same path as yesterday’s 5K – only much earlier in the morning. Hardly anyone was up on the cruise ships as we (well, some of us) waddled past. Did I mention that it was 78 degrees at the start and only going to get warmer? Anyhow, once we hit the road next to the beach, we had a cool breeze – which kept some of us going just a little bit further.
As usual, I counted down the miles – 4 with only 9 left – 7 and I’m halfway done – and then we got to Mile 8. Which was directly into the sun. I had already dunked water on my head every water shop, so it was pretty much a sad version of a wet t-shirt contest – only with a fat old lady. By this time some clouds had appeared in the sky and I heard one lady say, “Do you think it is going to rain on us?” Her running partner lady said, “Yes, I think so.” I thought certainly it would wait for another couple of miles. I was wrong.
The rain started – not really hard, but enough to get even wetter. Or at least I thought I was wet enough. Then a large group of us had to wait on the bridge while the drawbridge went up and stayed up so a sailboat could pass through. The rain continued while we waited. Finally the bridge went down and off we trotted for the final few miles. Eventually we rounded the corner and there it was – the finish line and my half-marathon medal!
Oh wait – there were no more medals. All the half-marathon medals had been disbursed. Apparently, enough people had signed up to do the marathon and decided today to do only the half, and they took our medals. And the race people didn’t foresee this, so they didn’t order enough medals. The race director was there, trying to smooth over the feathers of some very wet finishers, but he might as well been singing a sad song, because nobody was listening. They were too busy expressing their outrage, anger, sadness, despair, and fury at the situation. And telling their stories of how their friend was crying and this was their first half and so on. I felt sorry for them all – the race director, the medal-less finishers, and everyone within earshot. I wound myself through the rest of the finisher shoot and trudged back to the hotel. Luckily Steve and finished before the medal mess, so at least I got a picture of what I hope to get in the mail. In the next few days/weeks/months …
Today was a great day because: I finished the race; watching the race director work so hard to be nice; riding the cruise bus with other cruisers; checking in at the Wonder and eating lunch; getting in our room; meeting our dining companions