Saturday, April 5, 2008

Bridge Run Fun

I had a very good time this morning at the Bridge Run. It didn't rain at all and best of all, I BEAT LAST YEARS TIME!!! My chip time will be 1:15 or so. But my actual time is 1:09:24!!!!!! (Last year's time was 1:13) This is my best 10K time! I used my stopwatch and stopped it when I stopped to see Wes. I only walked for a few minutes. Once on the incline for maybe a quarter of a mile, and a few more times for only about 30 seconds or so. I also nearly ruined my cell phone! It was in my secure pocket. I poured water down my shirt and back and it got soaked. It wouldn't recognize the sim card. I dried it out with the hair dryer and left it off for a few hours. (It's seems to be working okay now.) When I finished, I had to track down someone I worked with to borrow their phone. I didn't have Wes' work number memorized, so I had to call my station to get his station's number. All they had was the main number, which didn't work. I finally called his cell phone and he just happened to be in a part of the building that had service. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I don't experience the runner's high very often, but the race went by so fast that I was surprised when I turned the corner and saw the finish line. I could have kept on going. Although it was a bit humid, I never got too hot or too tired. I never felt any pain or fatique either. I'm kicking myself for stopping those few times because I could have gotten a better time. Here's some pics:

Wes dropped me off about a mile past the starting line. I had to walk back to the start. This is because all the roads were blocked off. This is the bridge over Shem Creek in Mt. Pleasant.

These are the first wheelchair racers. They started at 7:30. There were hundreds of people who were still walking to the startline, including myself. There were about a dozen wheelchair competitors. They have to qualify for the race.

This is Monte! He works with me in the mornings. The other guy with his back to me is Brandon. He's my 5am producer. Monte took a picture of me and Brandon. I'll get it from him and post it next week.

Here's the start line. Everyone is corralled into "shoots." The elite runners were first. These are the professional and olympic runners that are invited and even paid to participate. This mostly includes the Kenyan and Ethiopian runners that always win. Today's male and female winners were both from Kenya. When you register, you have to report your projected finish time. The runners finishing under 40 minutes are after the elite runners, then those finishing under 1 hr, and so on. I was in the 1Hr shoot, even though I finished at 1:09. This is how they lined everyone up. This way all the slower runners and walkers won't slow down those who are serious runners.

There are people who dress up in ridiculous costumes for the race. These guys were Fred and Wilma Flintstone. There are also people who dress in drag. I saw several guys with "box" cars made from cardboard with numbers and stickers on them, like nascar cars.

The start line in the distance with all the "faster" runners lined up in front of me. Notice the clouds. Luckily, it never rained.

This is where I started. The crane in the distance is holding a bank of speakers. It was pretty loud. Throughout the race, there were radio station trucks blaring their music.

Around Mile 2, heading up the bridge. I had just stopped and talked to Wes. I was running when I was taking these pictures. I held the camera up above my head.

Here's what/who's behind me. The tower on the left is Wes's station.

Almost to the top.

On the way down.

Looking behind me heading down. I didn't take anymore pictures until I finished. Maybe it was the runner's high. It went by so fast. I was "in the zone." :)
Finish line as seen from Marion Square. It was shoulder to shoulder for several blocks around Marion Square. 40,000 people on foot within a few blocks. That's the population of Meridian jammed inside an area smaller than the city limits of Enterprise!

Marion Square.
There were people at the water and fruit stops who were throwing oranges and apples at people because they couldn't get to the table. I did manage to run in to two other people I work with. One was running and the other was volunteering at one of the medical stations. When I headed home, I realized that I didn't have a house key. We parked my car downtown last night and all I had in my pack (along with my dead phone) was the car key. I was lucky to get the apartment manager to unlock my door.

I'll get the pictures that Wes took this morning and post them tomorrow. Probably while I am icing my legs after the softball games....

Happy Running!

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