Sunday, March 18, 2012

Did I Set a Shamrock Course Record?

Is it possible that I set a course record* in the Shamrock Half Marathon today? I know I missed a PR by less than a minute. My legs felt like lead for the last three miles. It was a lot of fun, though, running as a 10 year - less about a month - cancer survivor. That is why I did this, not to set a PR (which, I admit freely, would have been the cherry on the sundae!) I slept mere hours last night, and was awake for good by about 3:30. I finally got up at 4:45, shaved and grabbed a quick shower, smeared on some Body Glide, dressed, and hit the road at 5:20 - bagel in hand. It took a while to find a parking space, but by about 6:20, I was parked and walking the mile to the start of the race. Along the way, I ran into three TNT pals - Holly, Amy, and Pam. Holly told me she signed up for another 50 miler! Ouch! (I also saw Amy after the race before her polar bear plunge into the Atlantic - double ouch!) Moments before the start, I saw my teammates and fellow cancer survivors Nicki and Sheri in my coral. Here we are, from left, Sheri, Nicki, and me:
As I reported the other day, I had three special honorees for this race: Bill, Nicki, and Faith. I wore their photos on my shirt:
Nicki also honored Faith, gone way too soon and too young, with her run:
Just after 7AM, we were off. It was a good day for a run - cool and cloudy, but not cold. I ran way too fast during the first mile, the adrenaline taking over, and I paid for it later. During the first couple miles of the race, I encountered Cheryl and Bill, who were in Alaska with me in my first ever TNT event. What a great surprise!
We ran along Shore Drive for several miles. You can see lots of green celebrating the Irish. It was near this point two years ago that several of us came to cheer the runners. Included in that group was Faith, recently deceased. I felt really sad as I came up on that spot and remembered her being with us so recently.
From the road, the field ran through Fort Story for several miles:
In Fort Story is the oldest lighthouse in the United States, the old Cape Henry Lighthouse, commissioned by none other than George Washington and since replaced:
With about a half mile to go, the field turned onto the boardwalk at Virginia Beach. I felt like I was running through sand, and just could not kick it up:
King Neptune watches over the finish line:
Afterwards, as I strolled towards the tent to claim my beer and Irish stew, there was this cool sand sculpture with Neptune in it:
So, did I get that Shamrock Half Marathon course record?* I don't know, but it doesn't matter. I wore my Irish green and my TNT purple, I completed my third half marathon as a cancer survivor and my first as a sixty-something, I celebrated 10 years of surviving Hodgkin's lymphoma, I caught up with friends, and I ran in honor of many people. That is quite enough, course record or not. And afterwards, I celebrated by drinking one of my four allotted Yuengling lagers (very tempted to drink the others but I did have to drive), and by buying 20 pounds of ice and taking a refreshing (?) 15 minute ice water bath back at the condo!

* course record for 60 year old males celebrating 10 years of surviving Hodgkin's lymphoma


TNTcoach Ken said...

I did see something on the national news about a record! Congratulations my friend, I am so happy for you.... Not what to do for an encore?????? HA

Elayne said...

Congrats Art!! Looks like it was a lot of fun.

Racn4acure said...

Thanks so much, Ken and Elayne, for the well wishes. I am not sure what is next, but something will need to be, eh?