I mentioned on Monday that I was waiting to post about the actual race last weekend. I’ve never been very good at waiting too long, so here it goes.
This race was far and away one of my favorites. And it had everything to do with the course, the crowds and the weather.
The course, itself, was beautiful. We ran a few miles through the city, and then through more park than you expect out of Philly – even when you know it’s there.
And the weather? Perfect for racing. Chilly in the morning (which is to be expected when you’re up by 6:30am), and gradually warmer with every mile. If I had my druthers (what are druthers anyway?), every race would be like that.
But the crowds – it’s the crowds I’ve come to love. I’ve realized that races just aren’t the same without them. Because even if they’re not cheering for you, specifically, they really are cheering for everyone who made the commitment to run that distance that morning.
There are little kids out there, cheering for mommy and daddy, and giving high fives to any runners that will reciprocate. There are friends, holding motivational signs, from “Your butt looks great!” to “Don’t let your nipples get chafed!” And you can’t help but laugh, and push just a little bit harder.
There are the other runners who finish, and come back to cheer, and even run alongside their friends, because they know how much it helps. (That said, if I had heard, “You’re almost there!” or “You’re so close!” One. More. Time…)
And there are the characters, who just get into the spirit of the city.
Finally, at the very very end, you have the prize. The Medals. That we just raced 13.1 miles to get.
And, let me tell you, wearing those heavy suckers felt amazing.
I almost can’t wait to do it again.
*Not a sign, but one of my favorite t-shirts that I’ve seen while running. I kind of want to make my own.
P.S. As an aside, even though my parents were waiting right along the finish line, they still didn’t get a photo of any of us crossing. I asked my mom about it later and she was shocked at how she could have missed it. And then she admitted, “Actually, I was waiting, and then the ambulance pulled up. So then I started looking for you in the ambulance.”
Thanks, Mama. Your vote of confidence is overwhelming.