ORN: Wednesday: 8 miles Thursday: 5 miles
As previously promised here are some photos from last Saturday's Parkersburg Half Marathon. Many thanks to my brother in law Frank for the photos from his super-cool Nikon digital camera with the mega lenses!!
Here I am, waving at the start. About 850 runners in total, I'd guess. Note for us safety gurus: Frank used a flash for this picture and you can see all the reflectors on all the shoes bounce the flash back at the camera. Nice to know on a dark morning.
I was still feeling pretty good at this point.
Frank moved to the 10.5 mile mark, where the course crosses a bridge from South Parkersburg back into Parkersburg. This is the lead pack of the men's race. It had thinned from 20 earlier on to this group of six. These guys were flying. Frank and Karen noted there was a Very Large Gap to the next group of runners. Alas, I was in neither group...
After going to a local coffee shop for a lesiurely breakfast, coffee and paper, Frank came back to the same spot and had plenty of time to se me finally run by. I had packed in my plans for the race around the 9 mile mark and was not feeling too good here, but the sight of family was most encouraging.
So I ran over and gave my sister a hug. Then we showed the backs of our matching T shirts to Frank for this photo op. A year or so ago, Karen had scanned and photoshopped two photos of our Dad from his years of playing football at Notre Dame. I then found a place to put them on shirts, which we ended up making for all the kids, grandkids and great grandkids, about 40 shirts in all. I included one for my running on Cool-Max. Dad died in 1993, yet continues to be a source of joy and fondness in what he and Mom modeled for Karen, me, our two other sisters and the rest of the extended clan. Karen walked in the associated 2 mile walk Saturday and we thought Dad was smiling to see the two of us in the same event wearing his football photos on our shirts. I've worn this shirt in about five races now and it is always a pleasure to honor Dad this way.
Eventually, the race ended. Here I am with about a tenth or so to go. Hardly awe-inspiring. I was vertical, however.
Recovery was quick and sweet, however. Karen and I found a shady spot and, man, how good did it feel to get into a dry shirt and socks!
It was a hot, muggy day. But it is always fun to race and even better to be with family, both on the back and in the crowd. I have much to be thankful for.