Sunday, May 1, 2011

Race Day

There were tutus, bunny ears and tails, Batman's capes, glitter and sparkly skirts, crazy multi-colored wigs, and that was just the racers. Most of them wore shoes, and some of the shoes had toes. Today was a sunny day as the OC Marathon ran past our house, and I was out there to cheer them all on, from first to last. The race began at 6 AM, and the leader completed in 2:22:45, shaving nearly four minutes off last year's time. I was out with my latte and a bowl of strawberries to see him glide through just after 8:10. The first woman came by 37 minutes or so later. The final walker, tailed by a motorcycle cop, came through at 1:25 this afternoon. I clapped for them all.

I love watching this race and have done so for the past few years. The early runners are focused, the last are walking, mostly smiling still, glad to be between miles 24 and 25, nearly there. There was a water station up the road a bit, and this year they had music, a brilliant addition. The songs cycled through Chariots of Fire, Eye of the Tiger, Rocky's Theme, Born to Run. The runners could hear the music as they approached our house, and it was nice to see their faces brighten at the sound.

Family members and supporters swoop in to run the last miles with their athletes, kids on bikes trail racing parents, neighbors walk down the sidewalk to chat, cops and cadets keep half the street clear. Nearly everyone remembers not to turn into the race lane.

This year I remembered to put on sun block. Next year I will remember to take my rings off before I start clapping.