My First Half Marathon!! Part 2: The Pre-Race Excitement

Click here if you missed Part 1: the Nervous Night Before

Obsessive that I am, we got to the race an hour and a half early, got my registration and the timing chip which shackles around the left ankle.  There was nothing left to do except wait, which only reminded me of how nervous I was.  I went to the bathroom 4 times in that limbo period; I was even the first person to go to the bathroom in one of the Porta Potties; they actually smell like chemical cleaner at the beginning.

As the time started to get closer and closer, more and more women showed up, including these awesome ladies sporting tutus for their half marathon.  I loved it. People had orange pirate bandanas, rainbow striped leg warmers (remember those from the 80s?), and red shirts that said “Red Diva Lady” on the back.  I wish I had pictures of all the ways people try to stand out in the crowd and have fun.

The MC for the morning was warming up with funky chicken dance moves and wild head bobbing.  She was fabulous at alleviating pre-race jitters At 7:40, she led a funky warm up to 1980s music, including her funny, borderline crass aerobic commentary.  She’d call out an exercise and 2 ladies dressed in outlandish fluorescent rainbow costumes with hot pink and blue wigs would demonstrate.  “When you squat and jump I want to see everything bounce,” she said, creating a stir of laughter from the crowd; it was a predominately female event.Nervous anticipation diminished with our entertaining warm-up, and at 7:58, all of us, about 1200 women and a sprinkling of men, lined up and waited expectantly at the start.  It was the first half marathon for a woman in front of me.  Her friend told her, “The number one rule is to have fun.”  Then she hesitated and told the See-Jane-Run-virgin, “Wait, the number one rule is don’t lose your champagne ticket for after the race.  Number two is have fun.”  I smiled at that, fingering my own champagne ticket attached to my race bib.  Some women started to run in place, waiting for the moment to bolt.  At 8 am on the dot, the MC hollered for us to start, and 1200 people, myself included got a-runnin’.  

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