Marathon day started an hour earlier for me than all other runners. I wanted to get there early to see my one of my marathon mentor, Yolanda Holder, the "Walking Diva" who is going for the Guinness record for most marathons completed by a woman in one calendar year. The Silicon Valley Marathon marked her 92nd of 2010. When I arrived at the start line at 5:42am, I met two future Maniacs, two newly minted Marathon Maniacs, some Dolphin South End Runners, two first time marathoners, and Yolanda!
First up is Yolanda. I dig the fact Yolanda and I always meet up. This has become our standard routine. So far this year, the two of us marathonned (I just made marathon into a verb!) together in New Orleans, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, The Extraterrestrial Highway, Lake Tahoe, Long Beach, and now Silicon Valley. I always looking forward to seeing this Walking Diva.
I proudly wear my Marathon Maniacs shirt on race day for reason. It's my way of sending a signal to other Maniacs letting them know that I am on the premises. Have you ever traveled to a foreign country and you meet someone from your home town? I remember once I was on the Eiffel Tower (the one in Paris, France, not the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas!) and I saw someone one in a San Francisco State University sweat shirt. I naturally gravitated to that person and struck up a conversation. Sporting that Marathon Maniac shirt is no different. Sure enough, four people spotted me: soon to be Marathon Maniacs Tiffany and Andy Gates and newly minted maniacs Gina and Linda from the Bay Area! Sorry, Andy, my pic of you turned out way too blurry for publication.
And of course, there are the Dolphin South End Runners. Greg, the gentleman below, has run a marathon in 50 states. He's also the very first person in my running club that I met. One of the nicest people I know. The other two young ladies are first time marathoners! Yup, the Silicon Valley Marathon marked Sharon and Martha's inaugural marathons. Both of them were nervous, excited, happy, afraid, you name the emotion, they probably experienced it! What's really funny is that at about 8:29pm the night before the race, Martha posted this on her face book: "...find myself fretting about the number 26.2." I had to email her to tell her to chill out! By the way, Martha finished the race in 04:39:30. Not too shabby! I was very happy to be there for these two at the start line. It is very important for me to be there to cheer on the first timers, even if I am running the race too.
I'm glad I had my camera readily available for that impromptu photo shoot with Dean Karnazes. We took that shot on the go! After snapping that pic, I put my camera away so that I wouldn't slow down at every mile marker to take a picture. My goal for the day was to avoid my trigger happy fingers and just focus on the run. It's a good thing my buddy and fellow DSE member, Elizabeth McKay, was on the side lines cheering us on. Elizabeth got a few action shots of Endorphin Dude flying through the Silicon Valley!
Furthermore, imagine how incredibly warm and fuzzy I felt when I saw Elizabeth, Paul, Sharon, Sharon's dad Alex, and Martha cheering me on at the finish line! These folks from my running club did not have to wait for me, but they did. It's funny, I always refer to DSE as my "running club," but I have to say that they are more than just that. There is a reason why I wake up at the crack of dawn on Sundays to run with these folks. They are my friends and my running family, and I appreciate and love them!
Wow. What a weekend. I completed my 6th marathon one day after running half marathon #27. And, I PR'ed and finished under 6 hours. I am feeling soooooo good.
I cherish all my medals, but there's just something about this one that makes me choke up every time I see it. This piece of bling represents all the hard work I've done to prepare me for this half/full double combination. Goofy, Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, I am so ready for you!!!!