Jenni wrote in her Face Book that she wondered what it is like to cross a 26.2 mile finish line. It takes a lot to find that out. I think back 4 months ago when over 100 runners entered RunnersWorld with eager spirits and willing feet signing up to train for a half or full marathon. A few lost interest or got busy with other challenges in life, but most stayed the course, diligently running Tuesdays and Thursdays, and then at insane early morning hours during the warm summer months on Saturdays. We ran 16 miles on the warmest most humid day imaginable, 18 miles with no watch, 20 miles and then 22 miles on the actual marathon course. The half marathoners also ramped up their miles and some weeks actually ran longer Saturday runs that the full marathoners. Friendships were made, training partners joined forces, and Team Bean was formed. Along the way, we ate and drank together, had parties, dressed up (or cross dressed up), played practical jokes (a phone book caper comes to mind), and had a friendly coaching feud. And we stayed with our schedules and paid our dues. Sunday morning, we pinned our race numbers on, strapped the timing chip to our shoes, packed our GUs, Shot Blocks, and other nutritional concoctions, and lined up at Veterans Park at the starting line.
Saturday, Jenni, as well as many others found out just what it feels like to cross the finish line at a marathon.
A 7:30 group picture. Trail Zombie is still in the porta-potty line!
Deon Bean and Kim (Vanilla) Bean await the start.
Lisa (Coco) Bean tries to stay warm.
And yet another Bean....this time Erin (Kidney) Bean.
There was no delay in the start. 8:00 sharp we we running.
About this time, Runner Girl Power was activated.
Cheer for the Clydedales! Ken and Bobby were on a mission.
One hour later, the half and quarter marathoners gathered for a photo-shoot.Sarah trails her Aunt Stefanie, but only for a while.
A smiling face in the crowd...it must be Cheryl!
Christal (pink head hand) displays perfect running form, heading down Riverside Drive.
Hailey is buzzing just after crossing the finish line and just after kicking those guys butts.
Sarah beats her goal by about 30 minutes.
More RunnersWorld ladies taking it to the house. Simone, Stefanie, Lauren, are alomost home. Cassy is in there somewhere. Way to go, girls. You rock!
A group of halfers chill out after 13.1 miles.
Suzanne is happy after her half marathon. and Kathy....well, she is just always happy.
Colorful trees, a colorful sky, and Marvin, in another marathon finish. My hero.
And the newest member of Team Bean, Jenni (Bean Sprout) at last knows what it is like to cross a marathon finish line.
Meanwhile, still out on the course, Ken and Bobby were clicking off the miles. The hill at Woodward Park reared it's ugly head, but they marched up the incline with authority, stopping only for a quick Kodak moment. And as was mentioned in an earlier post, the day came where a marathon finishers medal would be in the same picture as one Bobby Michaels.And after all is said and done, besides the races, besides the medals, goals, PRs, and accomplishments, I have made friends whom I will have for life.