Monday, September 26, 2011
All of the water stations were manned by local cross country running clubs: High school teams, college teams, independent adult cross country teams. Their enthusiasm was contagious!! The best was the high school cross country team water station at around mile 7. Chalk markings on the trail warned us that we were approaching an Hawaiian luau, and the sounds of jungle drums reached out and drew us in. Around the bend, there they were, banging on painted metal trash cans, leis around their necks! Terrific energy and great fun!
I found myself in a bit of a race for the finish line with another woman who appeared to be about my age. She began to falter at mile 12, but up until that point we stayed together, sometimes pulling ahead of each other until she could no longer keep up. Then it was over that last bridge crossing the Grand River, a bend to the left and there was the finish line.
Beer and pizza sounded great when standing there talking about it at the fitness expo the previous day, but it wasn't tasting so great nor was it sitting too well on my stomach at the post-race party. So, discreetly discarded pizza slice and half-empty cup of IPA tucked into the trash bag, I headed to the hotel to clean up, check out, and meet a dozen friends for a post-race lunch at Smokey Bones BBQ in Lansing.
I finished in 9th place in my age group. I'm pleased.