Still smiling at mile 7.
My brother Ben met us around mile 7 to say hi and take some pictures. He missed us at mile 3 because we were running too fast, but we were excited to see him at mile 7 and at the finish. :)
We both hit a wall around mile 9. Susie was worried we might not make it in under two hours and I was worried I might not make it at all! But, we both made it through by giving each other pep talks and slowing up the pace a bit. I had a side stitch/cramp that wouldn't go away. I made it to mile 11 before I finally had to stop and stretch it out for a few seconds. Susie ran ahead and while I could see her ahead of me, I never quite caught up to her at the end. The finish was so cool because people were lining the streets and filled Memorial Stadium where the race ended at the 50-yard line.
After the race...
After the race, it was hard to say what my finishing time was. Susie was under 2 hours, but I wasn't sure how far behind her I was and I wasn't even watching the clock as I came it. I was just happy to finish and finish in a decent time. It wasn't until later in that night when they posted the finish times that I got really excited. I came in under 2 hours at 1:59:53. It might not be by much, but there is a big fat 1 in the front! I was excited to say the least!
On being a Charity Runner...
Being a Charity Runner for the ACS was so fun! Not only did they provide the pre-race breakfast and amenities, they also provided a post-race lunch and massages. The staff was so nice and so thankful for the money that was raised, no matter how large or small the amount. During the race, we had other runners and people in the crowd yelling at us and thanking us for running for charity. The ACS had people stationed at different areas to cheer on the runners, too. Such a great experience for a great cause!
Post race we are all smiles (mostly thankful it is over)! :)
If you would like to donate to the ACS through my Charity Runner page, you can do so at http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/CharityRunner/CRFY09Illinois?px=10555256&pg=personal&fr_id=18804. All donations are appreciated and they are tax deductible, too!
To see our pictures from race day (thanks to Ben, our personal photog), check out my Picasa page at http://picasaweb.google.com/cmroyer/IllinoisHalfMarathon.