Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Savannah From The Sidelines

Saturday morning alarms went off at 4am at my parents' house in Hilton Head.  Kelly, Brad, and I scrambled to make coffee, eat, get dressed, and prep for the marathon.  By 4:50, we were all in the car, and after a brief run back into the house for my phone (that would have been bad), we hit the road for Savannah.

Since I'm fairly familiar with Savannah, I knew that Savannah Mall was quite a ways from the start and that we'd need to build in a lot of extra time just for the bus ride to the start.  When we got close to the mall there was a ton of traffic going in to park, but we eventually made it in and then walked to the buses. 

I actually met a really nice guy on the bus and we chatted about various races we'd done, our dogs, and Savannah on the way over, so it was a pleasant ride.  When we arrived I told him and his wife good luck in their races and headed to the porto potties with Kelly and Brad. 

Mission bathroom accomplished, we headed to the start on Bay Street and then decided to duck into a nearby hotel to stay warm for a bit.  Once inside, we looked around and then I spotted Allison!  Random!  She and her boyfriend, Ryan, came over and pictures were taken.

Excuse my desheviled look.  It was early.

When it got close to start time, we headed outside.  Kelly was in corral ten, so she got into the corral then waited on the side near the fence so that Brad and I could take many pictures of her hang out with her. 

At some point there was some shuffling and Kelly ended up in corral nine, but decided to just stay there.  We waited about 5-10 minutes til her corral finally crossed the start line, then she was off! 

A few minutes later we saw Allison in her corral.

This worked out great because Ryan was right there on the sidelines too, so Brad, Ryan, and I were able to hang out while the girls ran.

Once they were both on their way, we made our way towards mile 8, which we'd picked to be a good spectator location.  We decided to get warm and get some breakfast at J Christopher's, which definitely was participating in the marathon spirit.

I got a hot chocolate, which was a little too sweet and had more whipped cream than I knew what to do with on it.

I also got some pumpkin pancakes, but only could finish about half.

The Guys!

After chowing down, we headed over to Mile 8 to watch for the girls. 

A bunch of people in funny attire ran by...

I don't know how people run in stuff like that!

Fairly soon after we got to our spot, we saw Kelly!

See her in the back, just right of the middle with the white hat?
She looked strong!

A few minutes later Ryan got this text from Allison, which cracked me up!

Nice Allison!
Soon after her text we saw her come running up.

Allison wanted lip balm from Ryan.

Lips lubed, she headed out on her way.

With both of them past us, we decided to head to the finish area at Forsyth Park.  On the way we past this table of GU.

Soon we arrived at the park and found a spot in the grass to hang out.

We were only there a couple minutes when I turned around and saw Tina!

Tina had just run the half marathon, her first, and killed it with a time of 1:50!

We chatted for a bit before her and her husband moved on, and Brad, Ryan, and I collapsed in the grass to wait for Kelly and Allison.  To kill time, the guys explained the rules of football to me, which some how I still haven't grasped even though I'm in my 30s!  I think I might have a better understanding now though!  We also tracked Kelly using Brad's phone and Ryan's map to see where she was on the course. 
We had lost touch with her weren't sure where she was.

After a while we decided to head to the finish line and prepare for the girls to come across it.  We knew around the 4 hour mark we should be on the look out.

We cheered a ton of people on as they finished their last .2 miles.  I was excited when I saw Meghann pass me!  She looked happy and strong!

We were worried about Kelly since we'd lost touch and the last thing we'd heard from her was a text message that she wasn't feeling well.  Then we saw her!

Her time was 4:38, which is 13 minutes faster than her Disney Marathon time!

Brad and I split from Ryan to go to her and found her under a tree in rough shape.
She told us she'd had shortness of breath and foot pain and had struggled through much of the race.  :(
After a few minutes of Brad and I telling her how awesome she did, she perked up and we took some victory pictures of her.

I liked the medal, it has the Forsyth fountain on it.

Before leaving Forsyth Park, we got in one last photo.

My feelings about the marathon were mixed.  There were times when I wanted to be a bigger part of it and be running in it.  But part of me did feel like I WAS a part of it, and that because I'm a runner and a marathoner, I was still part of everything because I had been through it.  I actually had a great time at this race and would definitely spectate again.  I also do want to run in another major race someday, and a big race like this one would be really cool.  I noticed a big difference in the size and energy of this race than some of the smaller ones I've run in, and it would be really cool to be a part of that.  For now, I'm going to keep trying to start a family, but someday I'll hopefully be back at running long races again.

To read Kelly's recap, click here.


Kelly @foodiefresh said...

Thank you so much for volunteering to spectate and shuttle Brad and I around all weekend. It definitely would not have been as fun without you. You're a good friend. You will definitely race again and hopefully I can do it with you. :)

Lee said...

I have had those Pumpkin Pancakes from J. Christopher (actually when I was with Tina) and they are delicious.

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