Saturday, March 28, 2009

2009 Raleigh Rocks Half Marathon

For some reason I feel compelled to post about every race, so he is the obligatory Raleigh Rocks Half marathon 2009 post.

7:40 AM
"Eight dollars?!", I asked the women holding out here hand. I was running late so I had turned into the first parking garage I had come to. "Eight dollars?!", I knew this was absolutely ridiculous, and that there probably was a free parking spot around the block, but I didn't want to be late for the race that I had already invested $65 in. So I paid the woman, giving her a squinting glare that asked "how can you live with yourself?", and she replied with smug grin that said "sucker!".

7:43 AM
As I was running out of the garage, guy in a pickup truck (I swear this really happened) drove by with his head out the window, "Eight dollars??!! AHH HAAA HAAA HAA!!!". Thanks for rubbing it in, buddy.

7:46 AM
I jogged for a few blocks until I found the runners streaming out of the Sheraton Hotel with the their bags. I went in, fighting my way upstream through the crowds up stairs, escalators, down hallways. They had strategically placed the bib and chip pickup for 2000 runners in a small conference room on the 4th floor. There was still a long line that went out of the room and down the hallway.

7:50 AM
Most of the people were running the 5K which started later, so I squeezed my way down the hall to the tables and got my bib. Then into another even more crowded room and got my chip.

7:55 AM
As I battled my way out of there I looked out the window and saw the long lines at the porta johns out on the street and realized I had to pee really bad.

7:56 AM
Miraculously, I found an empty bathroom in the hotel.

8:00 AM
Made it to the start with a few seconds to spare.

As for the race, the bands along the course were good but sparse, and seemed to bring attention to the long ugly empty spaces between. It was nice to run on the greenway by the art museum and across the pedestrian bridge over 440. As for me, I did a 1:29:30 which was very hard and several people passed me at the end.

The thing most memorable was at the finish line, there was a line of tables of half bananas, bagels, orange wedges, etc. All the yuppie runners from Cary in their short running shorts and tank tops (including me) crowded among the tables, but there in the middle of them was the lead singer of the band that played at the finish line. He was kind of a cartoonish unintentional parody of a hard rock band singer. Black leather jacket with spikes and chains, ripped jeans, long crazy hair sticking up at odd angles, has not showered or shaved in a few weeks kind of look. He gave me a great big grin and nodded as he stuffed down orange wedges and bagels between sets.

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