To say this race was AWESOME would be an understatement!!! Everything about it was amazing. To start off, at the packet pick-up we were greeted by quite possibly the nicest man on the earth. I don't know his name but I do know that if I could carry him around in my pocket all the time I would!! He was one of those very positive-happy types. He told me good luck and said he would see me in the morning at least 4 times...not in a creepy way and not in a way that should concern Jake :) Just in the kind of way that says "I am the nicest man around and I love people!" This nicest fellow held up the race shirt to show me what a small looked like because they didn't have x-small. He said "They are small but you are...VERY small!" I'm sure it will do just fine but I was a little taken back by said shirt.
I thought to myself how unfortunate it was that they had misprinted the shirts. I got home and looked it over for a good 3.5 minutes trying to figure out why on earth the E was backwards. I thought "what the heck does IEI even mean" (sorry I don't know how to type a backwards E). FINALLY, I saw the second half of the B and I saw a 3 and then it hit me like a ton of backwards E's!! 13.1 Brilliant! I'm a little slow but I catch on eventually! I asked McKenna what she saw and she immediately said "Oh, 13.1!" Are you freaking kidding me :) Whatever!
We (Holly, Jorge and I...no, I didn't have the nice man in my pocket or a mouse) got to the buses at 5 a.m. where we met up with the pacing group to get our fancy shmancy singlets and pacing sticks. We were on the first bus and when we got to the starting line we were greeted by a WELCOME sign hanging over head. Perhaps I am strange but that welcome sign really made me feel welcome ;) I thought it was a great touch, sometimes it's the little things in life that bring me such joy! There were fire pits galore and those warming station thingies. It looked so cool with all the fires in the dark. I LOVED that they had a zillion fires so that everyone could get warm, not just a select few. As we were standing there I decided to sing Holly a little song "Drop it like it's hot, drop it like it's hot!" And she did!
The race started right on time!!! I started down that mountain hoping to have a good following at my 1:45 pace. Pretty soon I noticed a few people sticking right with me and I started chatting it up. I think I had about 10 people that let me know that I was pacing them. We were having a great time! I loved pacing this race because I could really take in the beauty of my surroundings. I have lived near this canyon for 36 years and have never seen it. It was such a perfect morning! The colors were changing and it was extremely peaceful. Had I been "racing" and I use that term loosely, I wouldn't have enjoyed it nearly as much. I made sure to point out some especially pretty parts to my "followers" :) I just noticed that the bib says "tranquil beauty" on it and that's exactly what it was!
The group of people I had with me were truly amazing. They were all super nice and had some great stories to share. I kept finding myself ahead of schedule and tried to pull back but they would look at me like what are you doing. I finally told them that I had to pull back a bit but to keep going because they were doing awesome. This race was EXTREMELY downhill which made it a little tricky to take slow.
I finished around 1:44:20...I think! I decided that I had gotten all my people there early so rather than dink around for 40 seconds I would just finish, please don't fire me "pace master!" I crossed the finish line to see my favorite happy man who congratulated me and asked how the race was. He was so kind to EVERYONE who crossed that finish line! There should be more people like that in this miserable world we live in...just kidding about that last part!!
I congratulated the people that I paced and told them how amazing they all were. One sweet little lady, Kim, found me about 10 minutes later to introduce me to her husband who had run the race as well. She was so grateful to have pacers at the race. Another guy got a 20 minute PR!! He did great! I've said it once and I'll say it again, runner's have got to be the nicest people. I guess it's all those endorphins!
I could honestly go on and on all the live long day about how much I LOVED this race and pacing! I think I have found my new favorite thing! I guess it's tradition or something for the "pace master" to take our pictures after the race. Here is our first picture from the Top of Utah Half Marathon
WOW! What a horrible picture. I don't know where I am looking and that guy behind Holly...I don't want to know where he was looking ;) I mentioned how horrible this picture was and asked for a little notice or something this time around and here's what we got.
I am a freaking model ;) I just can't win with these blasted pictures! I guess I will take cheesy over dur!
I guess a 20 mile long post should just about do it. I will end by saying that this race was one of the best races I have done. I did the Timpanogos Half Marathon last year and loved it, it was put on by the same people. They have got these races perfected!!
I can't wait until September 22 when I get to pace the Big Cottonwood Half Marathon!!!