Friday, June 13, 2014

My thougthts about the back of the pack runners...

My friend Heather wrote a post that seemed to have gotten a lot of attention on Tuesday. I was fortunate enough to be one of the people in the "trio". Here are my thoughts...

All weekend I had told the other bloggers that I would be bringing up the back of the group. The other girls have pretty fast half pr's compared to mine (2:28). However I have not been running as much as I was before because I have been tri training. Basically swimming and cycling have been my workouts lately. Therefore I knew that I wasn't going to even try and PR on a super hilly course. Melanie and I had decided that we would take it easy, run down the hills and walk up the hills. Take lots of pics and have a great time. So I made it clear to the other girls that if they needed me I would be in the back. Little did I know that would change the way I viewed. racing...
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Melanie and I had gotten to mile 2 pretty quickly. I just happened to look up and see Heather walking back towards the START line crying and immediately knew something was wrong. She didn't look hurt physically, and to be honest with you I had know idea she hadn't been feeling well. Basically she said she was feeling like she was coming down with the flu and she just overall felt crappy and just couldn't finish, she was going to DNF!


As any caring friend would be I asked her she if she could walk, and she said yes:) So I was like lets walk a mile and see how you feel and if you cant continue than DNF, but if you feel ok, lets walk, FINISH! Remember this is mile 2 of a 13. So we started walking. What was awesome is the people on the side of the road started clapping for her for not giving up. It was great!

Mile 3 comes, than mile 4, she seemed to be feeling better and by this point we were walking, talking, laughing, and having a great time. Insert one of my favorite pics of the weekend...
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You can learn a lot about people in an 11 mile walk. We had made our way around to about the 5 mile marker and started to notice the crowd thin out and cars starting to turn onto our paths. Now we were well under the time cut off. We couldn't see the sag wagon at all, so we knew we were ok. So we carried on at times not sure which way to go but hoping we were on the right course. At his time we started noticing the difference between our races and the back of the pack racers. Heather being a 1:40 half marathoner and in the front and Melanie and I being in the back of the middle pack had no idea that the people behind us were not getting the same treatment. We started looking around and noticed that as we were having a blast and no problems... (skip to 1:36)

The people around us were not so cheery. They were running and working hard. This was their race. We met an 80 yr old man who actually ran the whole time, not walk! RAN! Come to find out that he started running at the age of 55 and had completed 55 marathons since. 55! That's crazy. Now no one can tell me he didn't deserve the same treatment as the front and middle of the packers.
He told us that he remembers when woman didn't run in races and that he travels a lot for races. He's ran all the big races all over the world. He was so inspiring to talk to. The last thing he said to us is that we were the inspiration. We also heard many of the people in the back of the pack pushing each other up each and every hill. Very motivating.
The one thing that was still motivating were the volunteers at the water stations, to me they were all still cheering you on to finish. They may have been cleaning up but they were still cheery. Now the bands were all finished and packing up. So we didn't here anything from any bands.
Remember we are still in the allotted time for finishing.
We got to a point where they had moved the cones to side of the street, and we barely had enough room to get through it. Then I realized they were picking up the cones to open the street for traffic. We also had to stop at an intersection and wait for traffic. The cop told us this was not a closed course and that we could wait. Um, I'm sure the winner didn't run a 1:10 half with a wait at the street for traffic. One of the most interesting things we heard on course was a cop telling a bystander that the race was over when she asked what was going on. Um what about the 20 to 30 people behind you?
By this time we were coming up the last of the hills around mile 12. We started hearing the finish line announcer and knew we were close to finishing. YAY! We rounded the corner and got the best finish welcome ever. Surprising there were a lot of people still at the finish which I totally appreciated. The announcer was still getting you excited to cross the finish line. I think Heather, Melanie, and I actually danced down the finish. That's how we roll!
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One of my favorite parts of the race was this little girl running up to us at the finish line to give us our medals. She was so excited to put that medal around our necks.
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This little girl made us so happy. She had stood out there in the heat for 3+ hours and handed medals to runners.

Like Heather said in her post, Runners World HHhalf was an amazing weekend and it def had more ups than downs. Sometimes I think just putting yourself in a different situation can really open your eyes to what is happening around you.


  1. Heather texted me right after you picked her up and I was a) proud of her for continuing to move forward and b) SO FREAKING PROUD TO BE YOUR FRIEND. Truly, tears come to my eyes when I think about what an inspiration you are to all of us, and how selfless you were on race day.

    1. Aw Thanks. Loved hanging out with you. Can we please go back?

  2. Friends don't like friends DNF!!! I've told me friends that if needed, they will have to drag me to the finish line! haha. great post :)

  3. Love your recap! Thanks for sharing. It's friends like you, that no one feels left out.