Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Spectating the Nike Women's Half Marathon in DC

The nurse and her friends decided back in December that they were going to take their chances and enter the lottery for the Nike Women's Half in DC. Luckily they got it. I haven't been back to DC in over a year and was dying to go back. This was the perfect opportunity.

We stayed in a gorgeous row house about a stones throw from the Capitol. I attempted to look up the property records to see how much it's worth but, the address doesn't actually exist...strange. Judging from the houses around it, I would guess between $1.2 and $1.3 Million.

We also got to do all the things we missed doing ever since we moved like Sticky Rice and Georgetown Cupcakes. Actually, those are really the only two reasons I wanted to go to DC. The nurse played tour guide for a little while with her friends and I went for a ride with the DC Tri Club.

Apparently the tri club in DC likes to do their rides "every man for themselves style..." Here is where we're stopping, keep up if you can.

Race Day came and I was pretty excited about this being the longest race I've ever spectated. Everyone made it to the start on time without any problems.

Old Post Office at the start, second highest view in DC.

I left the nurse at the entrance to the corral and headed out in front of the start line. I saw them introduce Shalane Flanagan and Joan Benoit Samuelson. Joan is the only woman to run a sub 2:50 marathon in 5 different decades. I also so saw some people who did not belong at the front of the race. 

Then I was off to try and spot the nurse around mile 2. I didn't spot her but I got some decent pictures along the way. 

Still recovering from the earthquake. 

Then I headed out to one of the turn arounds where if you didn't turn you'd end up in Georgetown. Appropriately I had a sign that let people know they missed Georgetown Cupcakes. Sadly, I didn't think to get a picture of it. I missed the nurse again but she saw me. So far I'm 0 for 2. Along the way I saw these guys running and the Lincoln Memorial...

There were also Dragons at the race

Then it was off to the edge of Haines point for mile 10. At that point I held my "That's Not Sweat, It's Your Fat Cells Crying Sign." It's easy to love or hate Haines point in a race. It's flat but there is usually a very sparse crowd compared to the rest of the course. 

On the way back to the start I noticed the water stop at mile 11 was suffering. Seeing as I know very well what it's like to be on both sides of the water table I tried to help. I filled up about 50 cups and there was zero teamwork among most of the cup fillers. I decided it was a losing battle and figured I was just wasting my time. So, I headed to the finish. 

I managed to make an area of about 5 feet in front of me so I had a good view. You wouldn't believe how many people will come and stand directly in front of you without any thought. I probably missed the nurse because I was too busy telling people to stop standing in front of me. Anyway, after checking my text messages I realized I had been standing there for 10 minutes after she finished. 

If you didn't know, you're "served" a Tiffany necklace buy a guy in a tuxedo. I think they were ROTC guys this time. No clue who that woman is, just taking pictures. 

On the way home we saw this woman posing with all the kids in her family. The fronts of their shirts said "#GO (her name)" I couldn't get my camera out in time for that picture. I also have no idea what her name was given that it's a very uncommon name in the English language. It's probably more popular in Asia but, I'm not sure. 

When I found the nurse she was standing in a VERY long line for finisher gear. I waited with her for about 20 minutes. After estimating how long the line might take and how much the pullover she wanted costs, I took $80 and went to ask someone at the front of the line to buy the shirt. I found a couple who looked like they wouldn't rip me off and said they can keep the change if they buy the shirt. They agreed and even gave me the change back. Her friend in line said I was pretty trusting. I said, "well, I won't miss the money if she just walks off." Yeah, I'd be a little mad but, it really wasn't about trust. I did think through the confrontation scenario if they did just walk way with my money. It would be fairly easy for them to just deny everything unless I had signed the bills. 

People are right, race spectating is a sport. I ran 4.5 miles over the race course. It also made the race go by much faster. 

Oh, I forgot about the shoes...

Nike decided to make some limited edition shoes for the race and only make them available at several locations. We managed to be third in line for the shoes at Macy's. Since we were both in line we decided I would get a pair as well and sell them on ebay. 

Pretty schnazy. She ended up selling them for enough to cover the cost of both pairs. So, for sitting (we stole a chair and put it in the queue) for a couple hours she got a free pair of shoes. Now that I think about it, I didn't get anything out of that deal :-(

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