Thursday, December 29, 2011

Marine Corps Marathon - October 30, 2011

My two colleagues/friends (Cheryl and Linda) and I trained for the Marine Corps Marathon. One day at work last spring, I told them I was running and suggested they join me. I'm so glad they accepted, because this race was a time to remember!  We planned to stay a couple of nights to enjoy the experience!  We stayed at L'Enfant Plaza which was an easy Metro ride to the Expo, race start, and race finish - each in different locations!

Soon after checking in, we headed over to the Expo at the Armory via the Metro. Excitement, patriotism, and nervousness was in the air...along with snow! It came down like crazy the next day - in October! We only hoped it would stop in time for the race as the weathermen predicted!
Cheryl, Linda, and Me

 Saw this jacket at check-in and couldn't resist!

Our packets were somewhere in the hands of these two fine men!

Cheryl was excited for the adventure to begin!

 We saw our new mascot friend several times before the race.

A map of our trek . . . boy, that's long!

I saw the Running Skirts lady live and in person!  I visit that site so often, it was like sighting a celebrity!

Cheryl and Linda couldn't resist buying the MCM windbreakers...and either could I! However, I am a wimp when it comes to the cold - so I kept my winter coat on.  After all, it was SNOWING!

Linda and I ran for the Semper Fi Fund.  We raised money to support our nation's soldiers.  What a fitting contribution to a great race.  So, Cheryl joined us at the Pasta Party for the pre-race meal.  Then, it was time to head up to the room and try to get some shut-eye before the big day!

Although it seemed as if the day would never come, it came quickly.  We got ready and took some photos of our "game-day" running gear!  


 and Cheryl.  She ran for Diabetes!

We made our way down into the basement of L'Enfant Plaza to catch the Metro.  We arrived at our stop pretty early at the Pentagon.  Hundreds and hundreds of people huddled together inside the Metro stop as it was literally freezing outside.  We stayed in the station for as long as we could before braving the elements.  We made our way to gear check and gave up our winter coats - and we were left with our "throw-aways".

Me, Linda, and Cheryl - trying to stay warm.

These girls are much tougher than I, when it comes to the cold.  I was nearly crying, as I was so miserable waiting for the race to start.

It's almost time . . . and we're off!

Although the pics don't prove it, Cheryl and I stayed together for most of the race - up until mile 21 or so.  I hit what I think some would call "the wall" at mile 17.  Luckily, Cheryl's hubby showed up to cheer us on...and give us a banana!  For some reason, this banana was the best thing I had ever eaten and hit the spot.  It also gave me the extra boost I needed.  
Cheryl is next to me in the yellow.

This pic is proof that Cheryl and I even had fun while running this race!

At about mile 21, I went a little ahead of Cheryl.  I had to walk more than I ran the last mile or so.  During the last 1/4 mile, I started to cry and think about my dad A LOT!  I really felt he was there with me during this time.  I hadn't felt so close to him since he left us a few years ago to live in heaven.

At the end of the race, a Marine put a medal around my neck.  If this pic was a close-up, you would really notice the tears in my eyes!

Finishers must get their photos taken in front of Iwo Jima near the Finish Line!

Cheryl was shortly behind....glad I found her for a photo opportunity!

Our buddy Linda wasn't too far behind!  We celebrated our accomplishments at the Finish Line Festival for a little bit, and then hit the Metro again - back to our hotel.
That night, we all celebrate with big cheeseburgers and lots of Diet Coke!  What a day!  Can't wait to do it again!


  1. That is one marathon that I've heard nothing but good things about and it looks like you had such a great time even with the cold weather!!!

  2. Amanda - you must do it! Not sure where you live, but it is not one to miss! Electric vibe...