Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Run For Your Dreams

This past weekend, Lindsey crossed a big item off her bucket list.  She wanted to run a Half Marathon before she graduated from high school and she let it go down to two weekends left to knock it off her list.  The OKC Memorial Marathon to honor and remember those 168 lives lost in the OKC Murrah Building bombing was Sunday, April 29th.  Lindsey signed up about a month ago and had made a couple of "long" runs, including a 10 miler the morning of the prom!

She went to OKC on Friday with her friends and enjoyed an evening in Bricktown having fun.  The next day, they hit the outlet mall for some shopping.  We met them at lunch and moved on to pick up her race packet and wander through the Runner's Expo.  That is where the fun began.  The NBA playoff game between the Thunder and the Mavericks was in the building across the street from the Expo.  Roads closed, media, lots of Thunder shirts and runners all crammed into a couple of blocks made everything interesting.  Luckily, the game was Saturday night and the run was Sunday morning.  (The Thunder won, by the way!  They are up 2 games with game 3 in Dallas tonight.)  Then it was off to the hotel.  We went out and did our carb-pasta loading and all went to bed early.  The alarm was set for 4:40 AM!  I didn't make it to the alarm because I heard the 1st door shut at 4:30 and the shuttle bus right after.  These runners get up and going early.  So, we got up and moving and headed downtown.

Downtown was a crazy mess!  One, it was dark and two, there were 27,000 signed up for the race!  The "chute" for starters was 3 blocks long.  We left her in the dark, in the chute, hoping she would get lined up in a good starting position.  Her goal was to finish without walking and in 2 hours.  13.1 miles in 2 hours in your 1st ever half marathon would be amazing.  So, off we went to find us a place to watch the race.  We headed to the 1st water stop and were located right before the completion of mile 2.  We watched almost all 27,000 people run or walk by, but never saw Lindsey.  We were worried she had gotten caught behind some slow people and that she was way off pace.  What we didn't know is that she ran into a friend who matched her up with his girlfriend that was running the race.  They ran together until about mile 7 and kept a pretty good pace.  We decided we had just missed her and headed to find a spot at the finish line.

We found our spot about 1/4 mile before the finish.  As we were walking up, the first of the half marathon finishers crossed the finish line.  We were only an 1:20 minutes into the race.  We sat on the curb and cheered many on while waiting.  A former neighbor walked up and we cheered his kids and their spouses on.  The youngest (who was Lindsey's babysitter) crossed in under 1:40 beating her husband and brothers.  I looked at my watch and figured I had another 10 minutes or so and Jack says "Is that her?  Nevermind, it's not".  BUT it was!  There was my little girl running by me with the biggest smile I have ever seen on her face.  We grabbed the cameras and took a couple shots.  Then we ran to the finish line.  When we met up with her, she said the clock said 1:57.  She was thrilled.  She grabbed some food and Powerade and we headed to get her official time.  Since it took awhile to even get to the starting line, her official time was 1:53:55!  There were 8147 runners entered in the Half Marathon.  She finished in 695th place.  She was 10th female in her age group (1 - 19) out of 164 and the 202 female finisher out of 4990.  Not bad for a first timer!

We are so proud of her!  I am attaching some pictures of her before and after and a couple as she raced to the finish line with a smile on her face.  She ran for her dreams on Sunday and caught them!

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