Yesterday I decided to head down to D.C. to watch the Marine Corps Marathon. It’s the 8th biggest marathon in the World, and it’s a big race for a lot of local runners. I have never been a spectator for a race before, if I’m not running in it, I’m usually running in another race or have a long training run scheduled. So when I had nothing major going on this weekend, and over a dozen running buddies and acquaintances competing in the race, I jumped on the opportunity to cheer them on and show them some support. I figured it’s about time for me to “pay it forward”, with the countless races my boyfriend and daughter have supported me at, and I was actually excited to see elite runners cross the finish line in person! (Since I’m usually over an hour behind them! Haha)
It was such an amazing experience and more inspirational/moving than I ever could have anticipated! First, the atmosphere was incredible! The music, the liveliness, the cheering, the overwhelming patriotism, and talking to people who had traveled from all over the country (and the world) to cheer on their runners. All of them had one thing in common, they were so proud of their runner…like really, genuinely sunny beaming proud of their runners. I teared up thinking about all of the people who have supported me,and my crazy dreams, on my marathon journey, and was very humbled at the thought that they are probably just as proud of me when I run my races.
Then when I got to see the first place runner come around the corner to make his way up that final hill, I was absolutely star struck! US Army specialist Samuel Kosgei finished in an impressive 2:22:11 without another runner in sight! The race for top 3 females was close up to the finish, with 1st time marathoner, US Army Captain Meghan Curran coming in 1st in 2:51:46! With my boyfriend being an Army veteran, it was exciting to see the Army kick ass yesterday! (Even if I am prior Air Force…but hey, I’m not a hater! 😉 )Army ended up taking 1st for the overall men’s competition and 2nd for the overall women’s competition! Go Army!!
I was no less impressed with the other 30,000 runners that I watched cross the finish line over the next few hours. I saw one of Danny’s good friends, a member of the Army team, finish her race with a solid 3:17 finishing time and a new friend that I met at the NFC marathon finish her first road marathon in an impressive 3:48! I also got to see old Ragnar teammates and the guys from my office “running club” (Even if they do tease me and try to kick me out of the club all the time! I forgive you guys, ok? 😉 Lol) including a first time marathoner finish strong! I saw runner’s throwing up at the top of “hear break hill”, runners helping each other across the finish line, runners collapsing the moment the crossed the finish line,runners pushing themselves to the point of exhaustion, and I saw runners smiling through the pain with a look of accomplishment across their faces as they crossed the finish line! I’m proud of every one of them for doing something extraordinary; showing up, hanging tough, persevering, and running 26.2 freaking miles! Something only 1% of the people in the world will ever be crazy enough to do! 😉 Here’s a video that pretty much sums up the entire marathon experience! Hope you enjoy it! Especially my 1st timers for yesterday! You are now part of one masochistic club! 😉
I’m so glad I watched the MCM yesterday. It made me realize that when I am running a race I am so focused on myself, staying in the zone, and running my best race that I am missing so much of what’s going on around me. It gave me an entirely different perspective and made a marathon so much more significant to me. I was energized, moved, inspired, elated, motivated, and so excited by all of the runners yesterday! I can’t wait to run my next marathon and I hope what I learned from my spectator experience allows me to be more present and in the moment when I do!
Last week was not a good training week for me. I was dealing with major septic/plumbing issues that had me mentally/physically drained, and not being able to take a shower kind of kills the motivation to run. (For me at least) That fiasco was what inspired my “The Reality of Being an Independent Woman” post last week (In case you were wondering! Lol), but luckily I have that behind me now and this week is another week! I got 3 runs in, including a 10 mile run on the WB&A trail with a friend. I rarely get the chance to run with other people, but it was fun and therapeutic! Exactly what I needed to get out of my “poor me” funk and back into motion!
So my super quick run-down for last week:
Total Miles: 19
Total Miles for 2014: 1133.55
Have you ever watched a marathon before? What was the experience like for you? What did you gain from the spectator’s perspective of a race?