Craig participated in his third Army Ten Miler this morning, joining 29,999 other running enthusiasts, fellow soldiers, comrades, big wigs (the DC mayor) and Brazilian running stars (with neon yellow shoes) on a ten mile jaunt around the Federal City. While Craig ran his heart out, Caroline and I watched. We're good at watching; we were made to be official cheerleaders. Every year I say I'll run the next year, but this race is HUGE (30,000 participants) and seems so overwhelming to me. Besides, what would I do with Caroline?
Here's Caroline peeking through the bridge to look at the ducks in the "ocean." I kept telling her it's the Potomac RIVER. She still kept calling it the ocean. I told her I wouldn't jump in and save her because the water is a bit murky, but she insisted she could swim in the ocean. Sigh.
Thankfully she didn't plunge into the water OR get her head stuck.
The wounded participants, with hand crank bikes or running on prosthetic legs, came around the corner first. No matter your political views, there isn't a doubt in the world that watching these brave men and women pursuit dreams and remain fit and active after sacrificing their bodies is truly inspiring.
As the speedy runners in the front of the pack passed us, I tried to get my camera ready while clapping and cheering them on. I had intended to get a shot of Craig as he passed us on the bridge. What's that saying about good intentions.....?
Instead I got this:
A blurry shot of his right arm.
I figured he wouldn't turn around and come back for a good shot, so instead I took some random photos of the runners in the group behind Craig. If you squint and tilt your head 37 degrees to the left, there's one dude in light blue that looks like George W. Bush.
After Craig passed us, we walked back to the Metro station to get back to the Pentagon to catch the end of the race.Here's a picture of the massive group of runners making it on to the bridge as we were walking away.
While we waited for runners to start crossing the finish line, I ate my Pop Tart and banana for breakfast and, like last year, Caroline climbed on the walls of the overpass we were waiting under. I actually packed myself a raw, vegan, healthy Lara Bar for breakfast, but the Pop Tart was broken and the neurotic, control freak in me cannot let a broken Pop Tart be. It simply had to be eaten or the thought of it's crumbled nature in a Ziploc bag inside my purse would haunt me.
As it turns out, Caroline and I waited in the wrong spot. Thankfully I figured that out before Craig looped around to run to the finish line. So much for my steel trap memory!
Here's a wind blown shot of me in front of the ambulance. I find it necessary to locate the nearest ambulance because even though Craig is a gifted runner, I still worry about injuries. I always joke that I'll wait with 911 on speed dial, but so far a call for emergency help hasn't been necessary. There's always next year! Or the marathon in three weeks!
Craig shaved over two minutes from last year's run which made him very happy. We found him after the race in the food area where they were passing out cookies and bananas, among other things, to the runners. If a chocolate chip cookie at the end of a race isn't incentive enough to participate, I don't know what is.
I did it all for the cookie.....
The thing about these races is that you're finished and home at 10 am, leaving a whole day left. However, Craig is snoozing on the couch as I type this and if history repeats itself, there won't be much going on in the Smith house this afternoon.
Ah, an afternoon of rest and relaxation.