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.
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!
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....