Monday, May 3, 2010

Eugene Marathon: Spectator Report

Marathon spectating should be in its own class of "sport." This is the my second time spectating Eugene and my second weekend of marathon spectating. Eugene is a spectators DREAM, easy access to several mile markers and lots of friendly runners.

My morning started out bright and early as I headed from Portland to Eugene (2 hours in the car). I found easy parking, pretty much exactly where I had parked last year, 2 blocks from mile 8. I got settled took out my sign and cowbell and anxiously waited to see all my runners! Zach came speeding by shortly after I got set up. This year I was ready for him and got a decent photo. Here he is lookin’ strong at mile 8 on his way to a new half marathon PR.  I hope he writes a race report soon and challenges Mr. Pi to a duo because they are so close on race pace.  Zach has the fastest half PR to date and Mr. Pi the fastest marathon PR to date.

Zach is behind the guy wearing what looks to be cargo shorts, it amazes me what some people wear.

A couple minutes later, I met up with Amy and the architect. Few moments later I heard someone say my name and it was Tall Mom, also on her way to a BIG marathon PR. I was glad she spotted me because I would have missed her.

About a minute later, the happiest looking marathoner came bounding by. Look at her, you’d never guess she was running a marathon.

If you enlarge this one, Jen is on the right in the bright aqua top waving and smiling.
Happy happy!  About to do a water handoff.

Next up was our MV-marathon virgin. She was looking strong, determined and ready to FINISH STRONG.

Running strong with her head held high.

We packed up and hit the road. Contemplating if we would have enough time to get to mile 13, we decided to skip it and went to 17 instead. This is where we saw the first place woman go by and lots of scarily fast people. A few bloody nipples but not as many as last year, the weather was better. We did get an awful lot of comments on our sign.  Most people said they didn’t need toenails a few asked us if we had any extra (eww) and one said he wanted to get rid of his toes too.

Again, I saw Tall Mom, still looking strong she was too fast for us to get our camera’s out (sorry chica). Jen was right behind, still happy as can be. She got a flash of her special sign but later admitted she didn’t really see it. Here ya go Jen, just for you! The only pic we got of Jen here was of us high fiving but my arm totally blocked her.

I spotted Kathy and gave her a shout out. So random to pick out people you’ve never actually met before.

Kathy running strong on her way to a BQ.

Soon our MV came by, still determined, still looking strong.
Notice the girl in front smiling at our sign?

We packed up and crossed the river and planted ourselves at what we thought was mile 22 but was actually mile 24.5. We broke out sign #3 for this spot. Sign 3 got lots of love from the pace group leaders and some prankster types mimicked punching through but it was definitely less popular than the toenails sign.

Tall Mom again was the first to run by, still looking great, I high fived her! Jen was next, looking a little less happy but still smiling. I jumped in to run with her for a couple of minutes, I kinda wish I’d stayed with her a little longer b/c as she wrote in her race report she hit her wall shortly after seeing us. Next time! I did manage to slap her on the butt and tell her that Maritza says "git er done."

She's faking it here, I could tell but she did still look strong! Certainly, stronger than I've ever looked at mile 24.5!

Then, our MV came by. This time her running still looked strong but her face looked like she was ready to punch someone (we were hoping it wasn’t us). Later she told us, she was really hurting and she got all emotional when she saw us---awwwww! We love you too!

This face says I'm gettin' to that finish line MF'er!

Since we were so close to the finish line and we knew from last year that it was kind of a pain to park we headed to the restaurant to secure a table and order some drinks—marathon spectating is hard work!

I seriously love spectating races. I know how much it means to me to see a friendly face. If anyone needs a spectator I’m your gal! I come complete with enthusiasm, water bottles, signs, cowbells and running shoes in case you need a partner for a mile or two!

Here are two pics I stole from our marathoners blogs!

8th marathon in the BAG
No longer an MV!

I'd like to give a shout to another P-town runner who also finished the Eugene marathon yesterday--CilleyGirl.  While I didn't actually see her on the course, I was thinking of her on her journey yesterday.  Great job chica, you are no longer an MV, welcome to the marathoner club!

Every time I watch a race I get a little bit of race envy.  I've now spectated two marathons in the past 2 weeks and I'm ready to have a race of my own soon.  I'm entering my 8th week of Barb's race training with my first tri-related "race" coming up on May 23rd.  I'm doing the Hagg Lake OWS, should be fun!