Previous photos here

Mon, 28 Nov 2005

I did a run before Thanksgiving dinner last week.
It was the Atlanta half-marathon. It was the fourth year in a row that I've run it with Holly and Lisa. We did Benihana as our carb- and protein-loading the night before. I had the seafood Diablo. I'm not so sure our chef Pedro really spent three years in Japan learning his craft.

Up early the next morning for the 7:00 am start. Lisa and Holly cooked breakfast, and I drove us up in the Neon. I cracked my PBR tallboy as we left the car to walk to the starting area. The weather was surprisingly warm, which was a nice change from the low 40s that we had expected.

The starting gun fired at 7:00 am sharp, and we were off. Of course, it took us four or five minutes to cross the starting line, but the timing chips we had laced to our shoes would give us an accurate net time. The crowd was huge. Fortunately I had brought along my camera phone to get some photos of us as we ran the race. See that guy in the fourth photo with the Harvard shirt? I saw him throughout the race.

The sun came up and it got warmer. I dropped my gloves and my long-sleeve shirt. Lisa stashed my hat for me by her workplace. About mile nine we were coasting downhill, and I was feeling good. Holly and Lisa wanted to stop at a water station, but I kept on going, because I was feeling pretty good. That was the last time I saw them during the race.

The last few miles went by fast. Before I knew it I was in the final mile. I didn't try to sprint, although I did speed up a bit. I saw the photographers coming up, and gave them a big smile. I heard the announcer call my name as I approached the finish line (thank you timing chip) and I was done! I took a quick photo looking back, and then I went to the guy I had been waiting to see all day long: the guy who would cut the timing chip off my shoe. That's when I knew I was done.

As I got out of the finishing area, I heard Holly and Lisa calling me. They had passed me one of the hills, and I hadn't seen them! I think the sun was in my eyes. We picked up our bags and got warm, dry clothes on. Then Holly got what she had been waiting for all day: the Snickers bar from the giveaway table. I got a Coke, and we started walking toward the MARTA. We passed the Atlanta Hash House Harriers group, and I got the last Heineken from their cooler. Hi MC hasher!

As we walked toward the MARTA station we kept an eye open for the first marathon finisher. We didn't see him by the time we got there, so we had to wait a short while, but pretty soon we heard the sirens coming, and we saw him come around the corner. That guy was moving fast. Then we rode the train back up the car, and headed home.

The post-race cooldown included a number of beers. And no PBR, either. We hung for a while, and then it was off to T-day dinner for me. Oh, I uploaded the GPS track, but it's really not very interesting. The scale is so large that you can't really see any detail. It's nice to scroll up and down in TopoFusion and rerun the race, but the screen shot just doesn't capture the course very well.

posted at: 23:48 | permalink |