Laura at 2009 LA Marathon

5am:  I get up.  My nephew hurt his back, and can’t go.  I pick up Laura (above) at 6am, and we are on our way.  I have left all the directions on my Dad’s computer, so I go to plan B:  Ask Twitter…one of the girls gives me directions, and we arrive in the beautiful part of town, and after driving around, get our shirts and wonder…what are we supposed to do?

6:45:  Still wondering

6:46:  A truck arrives, and we are soon to transform an empty street into a water station.  Tables, cups, jugs of water.  The Disney IronMan/Triathalon team is there, and we start visiting.  I’m noticing a LOT of Phillipine people.  A LOT.  Turns out, they are a fraternity from a college in the Phillipines, and have only missed one marathon.  I thought I knew what to do, but I just shut up, and let them direct me.

7:45ish? The Wheelchair Racers arrive.  Amazing, and moving.  One of the guys stopped and I massaged his forearms.  The cool think about Mile 20, is it’s a climb to get there, then you are looking downhill.  We watched the marathon video last night, and know that the last 5 miles is a steady uphill, but we say nothing.

I have no idea of times next.

We see helicopters.  They are getting closer, so we know the elites are getting closer.  Watching them round that curve was inspirational.  The elites have their own water table, and a couple of them missed their bottles.  Heartbreaking.  They were moving.

There were groups:

  1. Elites
  2. Fast runners.  The ones who have run a LOT before
  3. Fast runners, walkers.
  4. Walkers.

I rubbed muscles of random runners, walked a girl down.  She started bawling.  I told her look:  this last 10K is a short run you might do on a Wednesday.  She is crying hard, and I try to get her moving.  A lot of green vested kids from a running club, and Dominic…who is also crying, and I  put my arm around his shoulder.  He says, “I am just so tired.  I can’t do it.”  Little pep talk…walked for awhile.

I am so grateful to have done this.  I watched you all.  I was looking for a few Tweeters, and saw Paul and rubbed water into his dreadlocks.  I just started following him this week, so it was cool to see him.  I looked for Billy especially because I’ve been reading him for awhile.  I heard he got a hair cut, but I couldn’t find him.

Tons of runners, all at once.  Some I missed, some I nailed with a perfect handoff.

All.  Powerful.  I am thrilled and honored…and humbled.

Great job everyone!

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8 thoughts on “LA Marathon: Mile 20 notes

  1. I wish I had volunteered with you! It is very humbling and inspiring to watch! I watched and supported my cousin one year-it was after I had run the race-so I knew what he needed and when!!

    I’m glad you had a great time! And i’m glad you made it!

  2. WHERE WERE YOU?!

    …er, maybe it would have helped if I knew what you looked like. I started randomly yelling out, “Linda? Linda?” to anyone that might’ve fit your description around mile 20.

    Oh well. Thanks for coming out anyway – catch ya next time!

  3. Way to go Linda! Where were you when I needed you last year in San Diego?

    And you need to tell Billy to Tweet! Then he would know…

  4. A wonderful thing you did.
    A wonderful thing.
    One thing I try to do at every race is thank those working the aide stations, those police officers providing safety, and those working the registration desks. No race would be possible without these people.
    A wonderful thing I say.

  5. Thank you Sooo much for your support on the course. It was a perfect day for a race and the spectators and volunteers were AMAZING!! It has been so cool meeting other runners on twitter and I look forward to doing many more races together 🙂

    Paul

  6. I know your support and encouragement meant more than you know to each runner. I volunteer for a race this Friday!

  7. Wow – great report, I’m volunteering at a 1/2 in October, this makes me look forward to it even more!!

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