It's beyond my scope of knowledge why these pictures come out really mangled on my blog; they don't look like this when I sit here and type this out. Oh well, I never claimed to be an expert at this blog thing. Anyway....
The relay went without any issues. Matt dropped me off about 8 blocks from the start of my exchange; he dropped me off on Speer and told me to run "that way" (pointing to my right) until I found my exchange point. That was my first real anxiety because after I ran a few blocks I wasn't seeing anything race-related and I thought maybe "that way" was to really to my left and I went the wrong way. I looked around and I saw no one. My heart started racing and all I could think of was that I had no way of letting anyone know I wouldn't be at my leg assignment and how was I going to explain that I got lost. I kept running and soon, I saw some orange cones and major relief set in! I figured I had about 25 minutes before Neil got there. Honestly, it was kinda disorganized (after yesterday, I had no doubt). There was this really wide street and yet the relay had this very narrow section to hand off. Well, as we were standing there, this lady announces that the relay exchange would take place on the sidewalk. What? It was so bizarre and before I could even figure out exactly what she was saying, here comes the first runner....and Neil is not too far behind. I think he was #4 or 5. Two of those in front of him were regular marathoners. I watched the guy just before Neil come in do his exchange and then he had to maneuver his way through the crowd and hop down to the street. I had to do the same...only I wasn't really prepared for this person to be Neil, cuz yeah, I've never met him and then all of a sudden, he was there. Neil took the ankle strap off and handed it to me and off I went. Maneuvering through all the people to get back down to the street.
Okay, so I'm like #5 on the course. I mean, me... ME....I'm like in 5th place. Right up there with the elite. It was totally one of those out-of-body experiences because I'm just running my heart out and all I could think of was how funny this whole picture was. People along the sides are looking at me like I'm some superb runner and I just wanted to shout, "No really, I'm just a poser. I'm on a relay and the guy that ran before me was incredible and gave me a huge lead." One guy passed me early on and then about 3 more later. I passed 1 guy.... but I am, by far, the only female for a long ways. Wow, what a rush! By the time I got to the exchange #3 where Matt was, I was dead and glad to be done. Matt grabbed the ankle strap off me and took off. I was so tired I didn't even watch him go.
If there is any place uglier than Colfax Ave in Denver, it may be hard to find it. I think when this marathon originated, it was a point-to-point marathon running the entire thing on Colfax. Which made it the longest marathon on one single street. I haven't heard enough about this race to know why that has changed but all I can think of is how it probably was a mess getting people bussed back to the start, and how ugly the course is. Matt said he had homeless people clapping for him. That should give you an indication how "scenic" parts of Colfax are.
I sat on the curb waiting for Matt to return to our exchange point and watched the runners come through. Wow, there were some seriously hurting people that were running the marathon, and we're talking mile 9.3 so they were definitely going to struggle by the end. I'm not sure there's much you could give me to run this as a whole marathon. Yuck. Just before Matt arrived, the course turns back and the front runners are now running back on the same street. I had no idea but it was kinda cool because I got to see Alicia run and I yelled for her as she passed another woman (turns out, this was an all female group and they actually beat us...the final woman passing Dennis. Incredible). About this time, there were about 6 relay people in front of her. Matt found me shortly after and we headed to the finish area at City Park and were only there about 5 minutes before we saw Dennis coming around the corner. Matt met up with him and ran the final quarter mile to bring us all in at 2:55.
I keep trying to see if any results are posted for the relay but so far, nothing yet. Matt thinks he counted 3 relay teams before us and also thinks that we got 2nd for the 'open mixed' division. That's cool!! Way to go Pick'd Pro's!!!
We never did meet up with Neil at the end, he ended up running about 14 miles total hopping from one exchange to another and catching a ride with someone before meeting up with Alicia. So his picture at the top is not with the rest of our group. He was a last minute replacement so it's about as good as we could do.
Somewhere along Colfax Ave, I was assaulted with some sort of weed or pollen or whatever because my allergies went on a rampage and have really barley stopped. I don't think I've had a worse day - ever! Of course it was all exacerbated by the fact I spent like 2 hours doing yard work....but at least the leaves are gone. I just feel awful!!!
I have a crazy week with Abbey's graduation on Wednesday and her graduation party on Friday. Still cannot believe she is done *sigh*.
I need to start picking up my mileage!!!!!
3 1/2 miles run.