Sunday, January 11, 2015

Marathon Sunday - For Some, Anyway

Nope, I am not doing this race. Been there, done that, no plans for a repeat. Nevertheless, there are those that I love who are doing this, and so I will participate - as race support. And that's where our story begins ...

Lynnette and Molly are doing this 26.2 miles of madness. The plan is for me to meet them at certain pre-arranged spots to provide things like chips, snacks, and drinks if needed. And to provide encouragement if needed. Of course, if I am to do this to the best of my abilities, I must go with the troops, even if it means getting up at the even earlier hour of buttiest-crack-o-dawn. And so I did.

I think we met in the lobby at 3:45am to catch the 4am bus. Lynnette and Molly were in their race attire, complete with sock gloves (we got a value pack) and I was in my warmish clothes and my bag-o-goodies. We boarded the bus and headed to the start line at Epcot. Lynnette and Molly headed to the start corrals and I headed to the monorail to get to my first stop - Mile 4 at the ticket center at the Magic Kingdom.

I arrived at my location about two eons before they (or any other runners) would be there. I had gotten warm on the bus to Epcot, but it wasn't long before I was cold again, waiting outside. I met new friends and we chatted while waiting for the race to start. I even saw Volunteer Aisling in her volunteer position across the way!! Eventually the race started. First the wheelchair races came by and in a bit were followed by the lead runners. It's amazing how fast they go, and look like they're just taking a stroll in the park!

Soon, as I was cheering runners along, I see Lynnette. She sees me and makes her obvious victory pictorial, and then starts yelling, "Applesauce!" Of course, I am trying to make sense of this, wondering if (a) it's some sort of code that I don't understand because I missed a planning meeting, or (b) Lynnette has already gone crazy at mile 4, or (c) she is saying words that neither of us understand. One reason I am so confused is because this is Mile 4 - nobody was supposed to need anything at Mile 4!! Anyhow, at some point, I regain some brain cells and realize that she wants a pouch of applesauce that I have in my bag-o-goodies (because she had somehow dropped her somewhere in the previous four miles). I rummage around, find the desired applesauce, and off she goes.

Next came Molly, whom I almost missed. Luckily she shouted and waved and I caught a picture of her as she zoomed past. Luckily she didn't (a) lose her applesauce (mainly because she didn't pack any), (b) and didn't need anything from my bag.

My next planned stop would be in front of the Polynesian Resort, seemingly a short walk from my present station. However, once I started on this "short" walk, it kept getting longer and longer until I decided that I needed to skip this stop so I could get to the next stop - Animal Kingdom. I texted the girls that I would be skipping this one, just in case they read their messages, so that they would not be looking for me.

A bus was at the ticket center that went directly to the Animal Kingdom, so I boarded it with other spectators and off we went. I arrived in plenty of time to see Lynnette (this was just after mile 13), who needed pretzels. I had just enough time to go into the park to get more pretzels in case Molly needed them and then see Molly (but forgot to take a picture).

My next stop was supposed to be the Wide World of Sports, but after an everlasting wait for a bus and then an even longer everlasting bus ride, I decided to head for Hollywood Studios (and texted the girls of my plans). I ended up at Mile 23, right as they entered the back of the park.

First came Lynnette, which gave me time to call Maribeth to get Lindley, Everley, and Steve on the Boardwalk to cheer Lynnette on. And guess who was the biggest cheerleader of all?!

It wasn't long before Molly arrived at Mile 23, and I had just enough time to catch a bus to the finish line so I could see her finish (helped by her stop in France for a glass of vino with Katie, also not doing this race). I got a stranger to yell her name, which sort of startled her, but kept her going to the finish. And finish she did, all 48.6 miles of the Dopey Challenge this weekend.

So in the end, everyone completed their agenda. Some ran, some walked, some sat. It was a good day!!

Today is a gift because: Molly and Lynnette finishing the marathon; chatting with fellow spectators/supporters; seeing Aisling at Mile 4; Steve and Adam arriving at Boardwalk

No comments: