Monday, December 10, 2012

Dec. Run: The Dallas Marathon Relay

Also known as The Relay that Relay Didn't Happen.

After a long year of running a different event with a different person each month I had planned to end with a bang by running a marathon...well, part of a marathon.  Months ago I signed up 4 of us to run the 5 person marathon relay: Cody, me, and our good friends Paul and Jackie.  Now if you do the math, you'll find that we were already skimping on the people per race leg ratio.  The plan was to have Jackie do the first leg, then Paul run the second leg, then Paul and Cody run the 3rd leg together, then Cody run the fourth leg, finally I would finish with the last leg.

Unfortunately, Cody got the flu.  He was miserably sick with fever, coughing, aches, and exhaustion.  Suddenly our people to race leg ratio was even worse, and Paul decided he really didn't want to run 2 legs by himself even if we could find another person to handle Cody's leg.  Our relay team fell apart a day or so before the event.

I was feeling sad about it, unsure of what to do when it was suggested that Jackie and I just run the final leg of the race together.  At first that didn't appeal to me, but eventually I decided to go for it.

Jackie and I leisurely arrived at the starting point of the last leg, parked her car, and strolled over to the crowd of people waiting to run.  After a few light stretches, we jumped into the street and took off as inconspicuously as possible.

We jumped into the crowd of people on pace to finish the marathon at a time of around 4 hours, so they were cruising at a nice speed.  We got passed...constantly.  And I had a bad run physically, it just wasn't a good day for my body.  But Jackie encouraged me to keep going.  It was nice running on Swiss Avenue, passing bands and people cheering.  After an hour and 25 minutes of jogging and walking we crossed the finish line.  That was the longest 6.5 miles of my life I think.

The end of the race was incredible.  Deep crowds were lining the sides of the course.  There were tons of people!  Everyone was cheering, holding signs, raising was a flurry of noise and color and movement.  I had never seen that kind of finish line atmosphere before.  It was thrilling.

So things didn't turn out as planned, but I still got to do my leg of the race.  Even better, I got to run it with a friend.  And it was still an exciting ending to a year long goal.  I will recap the year of running- the friends, the events, the highs and lows- in another blog.  But for now, enjoy this little trailer I whipped up using iMovie.

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