Monday, July 5, 2010

The Dawn of the Race

So, by 3:45AM on June 26, I was pretty much done with getting my hair as purple as it was going to be. I slipped on my race jersey, covered with the names of so many honorees who had suffered (many lethally) from all kinds of cancer. I always try to reflect on them the morning of the race.

Chuck and I headed down to the lobby by 4AM and met others from the National Team. We posed with our Virginia teammates, Nicole and Katheryn, and by 4:30, were headed for the bus to Tukwila, which was about 25 minutes away through the darkened streets.

There, we sat in the cool darkness trying to relax and keep warm. People chatted all around us, and began arriving in huge numbers. Most of us tried to spend a little time off of our feet, sprawling around on the grass and sidewalks near an office park, and getting in the long porta potty lines when the need arose. I snapped a photo of Jessica, from New Mexico, with a poster illustrating her motivation for the race:

And I got a photo of Virginia teammate Nicole as she relaxed and tried to stay warm - difficult to those of of from the south where it was 50 degrees warmer than this. Nicole and I huddled shoulder to shoulder to share a little warmth.

I asked someone to shoot my not-so-purple hair - it just looks dark and slicked back.

Then everyone started heading for their corrales, and Nicole, KK, and I did the same, first waiting in a final porta-potty line for about 25 minutes. By the time we got through the line, the National Anthem had been sung and the race was well underway, but we were in far enough back corrales that our corrales were still a long way from the start.

The start got nearer and nearer. KK, from Tennessee, and I were both in corrale 25, so we hung out and chatted. I peeled off my garbage bags that I was wearing for warmth. I got a shot of the starting line:
One of KK just prior to the start:
And she snapped one of me as our corrale moved forward.

The countdown began, and as we crossed the starting line, I started my stopwatch and started running. The 2010 Seattle half-marathon, my fifth Team in Training event, was underway! I was racing for a cure once more!

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