05 October 2008
Welcome to St. Paul! (when appropriate)
I wrote a year ago about how horribly guilty I felt for not going to watch my brother run the TC Ten Mile, which is a part of the Twin Cities Marathon. But not this year. This year, he was running the marathon and I was a Good Sister.
Things nearly unraveled. My sister and I had made plans yesterday to go. She called as I was running a couple of errands after my nephew's football game to tell me that now she wouldn't be able to go because her jackass ex-husband was fucking shit up. Then she called back to say everything was fine.
Of course, this morning, he was back to fucking shit up. What a shock. I have no idea why I didn't plan for that. Guess I'm always giving people the benefit of the doubt, even after they've proven time and again they don't deserve it. There was a time when I thought maybe I'd get up early and head over to watch Baby Brother as he ran around Lake Calhoun. However, I was awake half the night (I've been sleeping like ass this week), and slept until it was too late to get over there.
So my sister couldn't go and it looked like I was going to have to brave the rain on top of having to go by myself. Not that it was a huge deal to go by myself, but this was the kind of thing that would have been considerably more fun if I had someone to talk to while I was waiting. But that wasn't going to be. I sucked it up (hey, it stopped raining!) and headed over to St. Paul to try to catch him at the finish. His friend had left and his girlfriend and her mom were across the street, so I couldn't watch with them.
I was surprised there weren't tons of people lining the fence close to the end. I had plenty of room -- no one on either side of me. Maybe the crowd was a bit thin because it had been raining and it was fucking cold. Who knows. I was just glad to get a spot where I didn't have to fight to see, and maybe my brother would be able to see me.
After a half hour, I finally saw his orange shirt and gray shorts coming down the street. I managed to get a few pictures and was hollering my ass off as he passed. He said, "Hey Jess." Goodness, he was looking a bit rough. He called while I was on my way home and said he was starting to cramp up there at the end. I stayed a few minutes longer to see his friend, who looked much better. I was yelling for him, too, and I got a "Hey Jess!" from him, too. Neat!
Baby Brother finished in 3:27, which impressed the shit out of me. Especially for his first marathon? I think my cousin's goal for his first marathon was to finish in under four hours.
I was blown away by how totally fine most of the runners looked as they passed me. Some looked so loose it was ridiculous. YOU'VE RUN 26 FUCKING MILES HOW CAN YOU LOOK SO GOOD? And the people sprinting at the finish? I can't even comprehend. There were people running with balloons and signs. I saw one guy running in a toga, which was excellent. The Spectator Guide had suggested cheers, some of which cracked me up, including the one I used as the subject line for this post. The first on the list was "Keep smiling!" Let me tell you, I saw very few smiling faces. There was a great deal of impassivity, a lot of pain and a ton of grim determination.
Running is something I'm never going to get into, but the people who undertake the training and actually run such a grueling fucking race certainly have my respect. Congratulations to all of you.