Yesterday was a big day. In December I wrote about running, or more specifically how running is important to my sanity as well as being critical in my desire to eat more pizza than salad. At the end of the post I asked for help raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society as I prepared to run the Carlsbad Half Marathon. There was a great response, and I was able to meet my fundraising goal – so a special shout-out goes to my Mom, Royce, Dan, Ron, Linda, Lee and Valerie for their generosity. It was a great motivator to get out and pound the pavement for a couple of hours on a Sunday morning!
The race went well. It wasn’t too cold, and a gossamer veil of clouds kept the sun from baking us as it rose. It was really a great experience to join up with 8,500 or so new friends and go for a genteel run along the coast. There were bands playing and lots of volunteers handing out water and sports drinks and snacks and whatnot, and the overall feel of the race was really positive. We started off after a Camp Pendleton Marine sang the National Anthem (and she did a great job!), and it was heartening to see so many people having such a great time.
The course is an out-and-back, which means that you run out to a turnaround point and then head back to the finish line – which is right back where you started (as opposed to several other races, like the La Jolla or America’s Finest City half marathons that start in one place and run to another). It was very humbling to see wheelchair competitors coming back the other way; it really puts your life into perspective when you see someone with no legs peddling their racing wheelchair like mad and doing something so incredibly positive. It really makes so many of the problems in life seem petty and small and it also shows the strength of the human soul.
Not far behind the wheelchair competitors came the “Elite Runners”. These people are more cheetah than human because they were running faster after ten miles than I could in a dead sprint on my best day. Good for them! Fortunately, they had nothing to fear from me, except maybe a wrestling match over gatorade at the finish line if they were still hanging around. They are all pretty skinny, so I think I could take them…
As with all half marathons there were all kinds of people there – kids, grandparents, and everyone in between. I saw several people I knew lining up to race and even more in the crowd that cheered us on. I would especially like to thank the lovely ladies in spandex and purple tops for taking my mind off the pain in my feet by giving me something to concentrate on as I ran. Thanks, ladies!
So thank you all for your support in my efforts to raise money for a worthy cause and continue to maintain my sanity – I really appreciate it, and so does the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society!