Flying Pig, part one

(Man, I've been busy - does anyone even care about the Flying Pig anymore? I'd better just post what I have so far and make this a two- or three-part series.)

My alarm went off at 3:40 a.m. on Sunday morning. Josh and Chele were coming to pick me up at 5, and I wanted to make sure I had enough time to eat my turkey bacon and bran flakes (breakfast of champions!), get dressed and possibly do a yoga routine before they came.

I didn't get around to the yoga. I never stretch enough before a run - it's a problem.

So they picked me up and we headed downtown, which was of course teeming with runners. 16,000 people participated in Sunday's races. Somehow, we still managed to find a parking space. (After a few blocks of traffic and one false start involving a closed parking garage, we said "aw, screw it" and headed to Fountain Square.)

(Sung to the tune of "Strangers in the Night") "Runners in the daaark, wearing reflectors - filling up Paul Broooown, waiting for restrooms ..." I don't know what the situation was outside at the Porta-Potties, but inside the stadium, the line for "real" bathrooms was so long that we didn't get out until five minutes before the starting time. Well, the originally planned start time. You might have heard of that fire that delayed the start time and changed the course of the marathon. So, there was plenty of time to take pictures before the starting gun.

Why yes, it was crowded!

So now we're moving, and you can see the pile of discarded outerwear in the median. You can also see the starting line! It took us 10 minutes to get there. Once we did, Josh took off, but Chele and I couldn't fight through the crowds, so we walked for a hundred yards or so until people had sorted themselves out: runners on the left, walkers on the right. Then, we were off!

To be continued ...

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