When last we left our fearless runners, the race had just begun.
After the stuff from the starting line, this is the only picture I have from the first three miles of the race. That's because I spent that time doing two things: A) rewording the chorus to "Good Morning Baltimore" from Hairspray so it was about the Flying Pig, and B) trying to keep up with Chele. I stuck with her for two miles, but by the middle of Covington, she was out of my sight.
"Good morning Flying Pig!
We run slow, but we don't give a fig.
Ev'ry day's a half marathon;
Run 13 miles and your energy's gone ..."
Oh, hey. We're headed back to Ohio on the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge.
Sandy's shirt reads, "If you can read this you've just been passed by a member of the AARP. Just finish!" Sandy was doing a run-walk program, so she passed me like six times - she'd run and pass me; she'd walk and I'd pass her, and so on. Just before she left me behind, I got this picture.
I really liked the light downtown.
And it was very cool to see so many people out cheering on the runners. People say the Pig is really great for that compared to other marathons. I wouldn't know. Perhaps I'll never know. Perhaps the Pig will be the only marathon I ever run. I'm OK with that.
As the course left downtown on Gilbert, the first half marathon runners were starting to trickle into the final approach on Eggleston below. This guy wasn't the winner, but he had to have been in the top 20.
Here's something nonrunners might not know about the sport. As you run, you naturally bounce up and down, and the effect is that any, um, stuff that is traveling through your insides will shift and settle and generally move towards the point of its planned exit. This is a very delicate way of saying that those Porta-Potties are an utter necessity.
I first began to feel the need for them on the bridge back to Ohio, but seeing the long lines for them caused me to tough it out until mile 6, at the beginning of Eden Park. That's where I took this lovely picture.
I skipped over all the hilly bad parts of Eden Park to bring you ... the Delta Kings Chorus! I heard another runner saying how cool they were - until she could see them, she thought the music was coming from a CD.
On the other side of the Delta Kings was an amazing view of the river! Let's take a closer look:
Man, you've really gotta love this town sometimes.
All the people in this photo (except for the volunteer on the left) are running the full marathon. That's because this is the point where we separated: half marathoners turn left and go back downtown; full marathoners turn right and continue with the next THREE QUARTERS of their race. (Sometimes I think maybe I could actually run a full marathon. Then I consider that fact - that when I had less than 5 miles to go, they had 18. Yeah, that's insane.)
Coming soon: the thrilling conclusion!