Saturday March 21, 2009
After being treated to a fantastic sunrise from our balcony Loni and I shuffle down to the starting line 8 blocks away. Being late we find ourselves 2 blocks behind the starting line and tucked in with the walking crowd. The Vibe is great; people are decked out in costumes, tutus, tights, fuzzy hats. One guy was dressed up as 80s guy and had a boom box on his shoulder.
The pack slowly lurches forward and we’re off down Atlantic Ave. With 7,000 entrants there wasn’t much space to move even after the pack started spreading. We somehow manage to run an 11 minute first mile. I say somehow manage because it felt like we had run a mile and a half with all of the back and forth we were doing in the pack. Loni settles in at speed that is killing me. I tell her we need to pick it up and that we’re still behind walkers. She’s frustrated with me because she wants to take it easy today while I want to keep leapfrogging ahead. I lose here again in the second mile but stop on the sidewalk and somehow am able to pick her out of the crowd and we resume our side by side trot. At mile 2 the clock ticks over 22 minutes. WE are at the end of Atlantic where we turn out onto the boardwalk on our return to Neptune. Loni’s puffing along still nursing her leg meanwhile I’m laughing and taking photos. The pack is slowly spreading out but on the 15’ boardwalk you still are stumbling over people. We catch one woman with a fantastic shirt.
Loni and I give a little boy and his sister high fives as we turn back onto Atlantic. I hear over my shoulder a pack of girls scream “GO LONI!” and I can’t help but smile. Her leg is starting to bother her a bit, I feel for her, but I tell her to push on. 11:30 3rd mile
Back on the road we approach the starting line again, now picking up the pace because we’ve passed Neptune and we know were on the final leg of this figure 8 loop. WE knock out the 4th mile in a speedy 10min. Someone yells from the sidewalk “don’t give up! You’ve made it this far” I look at the guy next to me and say, “hey at this point of a race have you ever been like, ‘well I’ve totally given up and here is my car, so I quit?’” He laughs and said “well I was going to quit but if it wasn’t for that guy…” and trails off. A woman who didn’t get the sarcasm runs by and yells, “DO IT FOR THE BEER! DO IT FOR THE BEER!” I laugh again. God I’m such a hack, people around me are setting PRs and trying there hardest. I’m totally here for a shirt, some laughs and a story.
We make the final turn out onto the boardwalk at block 38. 7 blocks to go, I tell loni we should finish hand in hand and she agrees. We trot back and forth on the boardwalk between walkers who have spent too much of their energy too soon. Along with trying to get in front of as many camera’s as possible. Finishing time on my watch is 55 min even. Not too bad, we stuck with our 11min/mile pace and I couldn’t be happier
Snagged our medals, our yengling beer and enjoyed the festivities.
8k - 54:57