My weekend was heavy on spectating, light on running. It began on Saturday, bright and early. Early, as in a 4am wake up call and out the door by 4:45. Scott had all the appropriate gear: Hydropel, change of socks/shoes, nutrition in all forms, and headlamp, to name just a few. StoneCat is known for its wet spots along the course, and since Scott ran the 50 miler last year, his packing skills for the marathon portion were fairly fine tuned.
The start of StoneCat is surreal. Everyone dons their headlamps and plants their drop bags near the transition/check-in area. This year, there were a handful of friends/neighbors participating in either the marathon or the 50 miler, giving me plenty of opportunities for cheering and for cowbell ringing.
|Andy, Larry, and Scott just before the start|
|Headlamps are a must at this race!|
Even when I didn’t see Scott, Andy, Larry, Sara, Linda….I cheered. I put myself to good use and helped the volunteers at the aid station, pointing out precariously rooted boulders that might jump up and trip a weary runner at any moment. The GAC Running Club is very entertaining and don’t take themselves very seriously at all. They do take their role in supporting runners very seriously and provided food (hot and cold), drinks, candy, and most of all, humor and inspiration.
I misjudged my timing as I darted back and forth between the aid stations. It’s actually a pretty easy course to support, since major roads surround the forest area the runners cover. But it was hard to figure out when I might see Scott and Andy without missing them completely. So when I stayed in the Finish area for the last hour of Scott’s race, apparently I was missed at one of the aid stations. Scott told me later that the volunteers remembered me, that I was with him, and asked Scott, “Where’s your cheering wife?” Aw, they liked me. They really liked me!
|A little Sally Field blast from the past|
Scott and Andy stuck together through the end of Scott’s race. Scott gave Andy a few parting words of advice and we left him to conquer two more loops to complete his 50 mile quest. On went his music, down went a sandwich, and off Andy went – back into the forest. Several hours later, Andy called us to report that he had completed his race in 10:10. Awesome accomplishment!
Sunday found me spectating at the Manchester Marathon. Meaghan ran as part of a relay team, so I hung out with my favorite 6 year old Caitlyn. We got an early start (though not as early as Saturday!), a quick drive through Dunkin Donuts, and we were off. I was armed with my cowbells, camera, and some snacks for Caitlyn and me.
I had only met one of the relay team members before, so I was happy when this bunch of strangers felt like old friends by the end of the day. The host’s house was literally 2 houses from the race course, enabling us to simply walk outside and almost immediately start cheering. And even luckier, Meaghan’s leg went right past us! Caitlyn was so happy to cheer her mama on.
We jumped into one of the cars and headed to the 13.1 mile mark to drop some runners off and pick other runners up. I was so relieved to know that no one was going to rely on me to navigate around this city I don’t know. Caitlyn and I had our eagle eyes focused on bringing Meaghan in, so she could pass off to the next team member and so Caitlyn could hug her mama. So sweet.
After two long days of cheering and cowbell ringing, I’m tired! But it’s a good tired. I love cheering on runners and I love knowing that I might’ve helped a runner get out of their head for even a minute. I love the excitement and renewed motivation I feel when I spectate at a race.
Better hide my laptop and credit card. I’m liable to sign up for…..something!