CacheCrazy.Com: St. Luke's Half Marathon

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

St. Luke's Half Marathon

Some time back, I mentioned I’d have more information on our little neighborhood fitness program.  By now, I’m sure you all realize Sunday was the day all of that training came to fruition.  As stated several times, Liz (Dodger Lizard Crew) and Dawn (Bloodhounded) not only took part in and completed the St. Luke’s Half Marathon, they ripped it up!
We left White Haven at 6:00 AM and headed on our way to the scenic Lehigh Valley.  With partly sunny skies and temperatures heading to around 60 degrees, it was going to be a perfect running day.  I was the logistics man this day – I had to get them there, watch our two kids, and act as primary cheerleader.  Mike of Team Bloodhouded assisted me.  All of that was easy compared to conquering the 13.1 miles of Allentown roads, byways, and trails.  That was for Dawn and Liz. 
Annalie, Liz, Dawn, Sadie and veteran half-marathoner and friend, Sarah before the start
At 8:10 AM, the gun sounded, and all 4,000+ runners were off!
And they're off...
The race organizers had a great little set up where you could take buses to various locations along the course.  We decided to maximize viewing opportunities and minimize bus travel by catching the shuttle to the point that was both the 3-mile mark and the 6-mile mark of the race.  It was a regular carnival atmosphere.  Bands lined the race course and filled the air with adrenalin-pumping music that kept the racers fired up, and hundreds of spectators rooted for their family and friends.  Despite the thousands of competitors, we spotted our two favorites and cheered them on.  At 6 miles, they looked great! 
Something that totally fascinated me and also keeps in line with the whole geocaching angle we have here at Cache Crazy was what is called The Garmin Pace Team.  The pace team consists of volunteer runners that maintain a specific pace for the entire duration of the race.  For example, if you had a goal of running an 8-minute mile, you’d tuck in behind the pacer carrying a placard in the air with “8:00 Pace” written on it.  I kid you not when I say these pacers were dead on the money to the second.  What a great asset for a runner to have!  I was quite impressed.
The 6:52 mile pacer
We caught the shuttle that took us to the finish line inside J. Birney Crum Stadium.  Liz and Dawn would have to conquer the remaining 7.1 miles without us.  When we entered the stadium, the leaders were already finishing.  All we could do was confidently await the two best half-marathoners in the neighborhood.  The fun continued at the stadium – a DJ was announcing results and keeping everybody hopping with funky tunes, and food and beverages were readily available.  There were also some cool clowns making balloon hats and animals that I – I mean the kids – really enjoyed. 
Who says running isn't fun and games?
Watching the race timer, we knew that our favorites should soon be coming.  When we saw the pacer come by that they had been following, we maintained confidence that was now tinged with excitement and nervousness.  Seconds seemed like minutes when suddenly, from the far side of the stadium, the familiar red and blue shirts entered onto the track!  Less than a lap now, Liz and Dawn had only 300 meters to go!  We cheered loudly as they came by us, and seconds later they both had completed their very first half marathon!
Liz and Dawn looking like they could do it again
We’re proud of you!  It’s amazing what you did - You set a goal, worked hard for it, and conquered it!
Way to go!
References and more information:


BigAl said...

As I said on the other post, way to go ladies. I think what you did was outstanding. I give you credit for all the prep work that went into the training, and the actual running you did. I also give an honorable mention to your husbands for the work they did. It takes a lot for them to watch the kids, cheer you on, and try to stay calm as you approach the finish line. You all deserve a special SMILEY for what you accomplished. WAY TO GO TEAM!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, it was great to have our own fans cheering us on! It was a very good day, especially once we crossed the finish line. Now that I can walk without wincing, we should plan a day of fishing and geocaching in the park we ran through. It is a very beautiful place, (though at the time all I kept thinking was “please get me out of this damn park and to the finish line before I collapse!” Lol) -Dawn (Mrs. Bloodhounded)

sarah saad said...

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