Sunday October 16, 2011. Hershey Half-Marathon.
After crossing several finish lines with cheering family waiting, it was time to be the cheer support. While I was planning a whole year of sprint triathlons, in preparation for the Disney half marathon, Meg thought she’d get in a big run too. Hershey had a tighter cutoff standard than Disney, so this was no warmup. This was the real deal.
Saturday I went to Staples and got poster supplies that the kids helped to put together. Sunday morning, Meg rode to the race with friends of ours who were running too. I got the kids up and going for McDonalds breakfast, which was the motivation they needed to be on time.
We set up at the start of the race, in the parking lot of the stadium. We were probably in the first .1 mile, so the crowd coming by was still very dense. We never saw her go by. The plan was then to drop off our cameras and sign at the Jeep, and maybe move it closer to the finish line. As we were heading back through the parking lot, we saw that the runners were coming by the lot on the other side. We hustled over there to watch for her as the runners spread out.
We finally spotted her.
Then we went to the Jeep, unloaded, and spent as much time I could stand in Chocolate World. Two times through the ride, shopping for a chocolate “card” for Mommy, then the 3D movie and it was time to get into the stadium.
We got to the finish in time to see her come through the arch, but I missed her arms-raised pose with the camera. I still got some good posed shots after the race.
Check out the album here. It’s only nine shots, and features adorable children.
Random thoughts from being an observer:
If you’re going to take kids to be spectators at an endurance event, either make it at a beach so they can play, or at an amusement park. Rev3 must be on to something.
When runners are given those foil blankets at the end, they look like a giant half-wrapped hershey kiss. This was appropriate for the venue.
If you stand at mile .1 and holler “almost there!” most people will laugh.
I really want to finish a half-marathon now. Less than three months until I give it the old college try.
Do or do not, there is no try.
I was only going to wear the DOUGHBOY shirt for races, but it felt right to be there for her in the same way. I will say, I got odd looks from people coming into the park hours later after we were walking back from our lunch at Red Robin.
I am not going to push my kids to do what I do, but we will continue to lead by example and make opportunities available for long-term fitness and lifestyle choices.