Sunday, October 11, 2015

Spectating TCM Marathon 2015

Every year when this comes up I so wish I would run this one. Indeed this is the one from which I learnt about races. Studying the TCMarathon route, I feel like now I have covered most of those places via all the other races I have run so far. And they are all beautiful spots. I think my primary motivator for all the races is to see the corners of Twin Cities which I wouldn't explore otherwise. And it turned out to be true.

TCMarathon is a highly publicized one. In 2012, it started showing up in my FB newsfeed, and once I checked out their site and studied all pages, that was my first time knowing, whatever is a Running Race ? Till then all I knew was at the school levels. I never knew that grownup adults too indulged in it. Till then, running was just a boring torture tool, I knew people used to loose weight. TCM started that train of thought, which pushed me on the way to learn way more now then I ever did. I keep jotting them in my blog-post How to get started with Running - 101. Its a lot of info, that I learnt in bits and pieces, from different articles I read. It's not complete info, because there is always something new going on. But its enough to get started.

So in a way TCMarathon is the one, which got me dreaming about Marathons, while I was still in "couch" stage. In the past 2 years, I keep looking at their registration page, but lack all courage to sign up. Doesn't help that they close in July and I need to be confident by then. Also this Fall Marathon needs training in Summer, which is the time I can do it least. I just can't run in summer heat and have most of the vacation distractions at this time.

Hence TCMarathon remains in back burner for now. And I do the next best thing. Which is to check it out :) Their Specatator guide is pretty informative.

For the 2014, I went to Lake Calhoun with my daughter. It was 35F that morning and we were bundled up in coats & gloves. We rang the cow-bells and shared one with a toddler whose Dad was running. Saw the leaders who eventually won the race in Mens & Womens. We high-fived the middle pack. Saw the guy who juggled 3 footballs throughout the course. This sport is called Joggling, I learnt. We stayed on, till the escort car passed with the last runner. So I got to see the leaders, the middle packers and the ones in last batch. This was Mile 6 and it was amazing to see the varying degree of energy each batch had.

This year, I saw the TCMarathon 2015 at 25th Mile. I wanted to see the state of runners at this close to finish. Temps were a pleasent 50F+. I reached at 10:10 at Summit Avenue, after parking in Grand Avenue. Spectator guide was helpful to figure this out. One of the leaders just passed at that time. He turned out to be 2nd place. This was my first time witnessing a leader actually so close to finish, so early ! Long back, when I would reel off the times of the winners from the result pages, we would kid, "Did he ride a motor-bike ?" Haha.

Wheelers went by and I was quite out of respect & disbelief.

Watching women runners was exciting. I was stunned to see these 3 Women leaders. One in the middle came first place later. But here all 3 stuck together all the while.

And then came the 2:30 to 3 hour finishers. They too ran at consistent pace. Back straight, hands paddling their body, feet just going one step in front of the other. I hardly heard them breathe or know about their breathing at all. If anyone could be in monk-like steady state, that would be these runners. Except they were running. Moving forward. And they had been doing this for the past 2+ hours, across 25 miles. This was across different age groups - younger ones, 45 year old women, men in 60-65 range. Even the ones coming around at 11 AM were running. I saw maybe 1 or 2 stop for a walk break of 5 seconds. That's all. #Goals.

I stayed till 11:15 but could not stay longer to see the middle pack and the last runners. I did want to see, in what state they would be. Surely they could use more cheer from spectators.

I was the last few finishers in my first Marathon run in May-end this year. This Nike: Last ad is so me. I hope to be better next time.

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