Monday, March 3, 2008

Little Rock Marathon - Cheryl

The best part of the day came after our 1/2 marathon race was over. We went back to our vehicles changed clothes or in my case just got a jacket since it had cooled off and headed to Boulevard Bread Co. Most everyone was having coffee and eating, but I knew I was going to be running with Cheryl soon so I just had some toast. I have to admit while we were at the Bread Co. I thought how am I going to do it!! I had been trying to call Cheryl for quite awhile. I had my phone on vibrate and I had it in the pocket of my skirt. You would think I would be able to feel it but NO! So Cheryl would call me I would miss the call and then I would call her over and over. We finally connected and she told me she was at mile 16 and had just seen her family, she also said she was with Melissa. I can not even tell you how relieved I was to know she had been running with Melissa for most of the race. It was after that that I let myself have the toast. Oh but don't feel sorry for me, I had two chocolate milks before I remembered I still had some running to do!! YIKES

So we all start heading towards the finish line so we can watch for more Cabot people to cross the finish line. Around this time Cheryl called me again and said she was at or around mile 20 and she was alone, Melissa wasn't feeling well and Cheryl had to go on without her. I told her we would start heading in her direction. First we had to stop for a couple of pictures, we had run into Curtis who after getting hurt at work on Friday and suffering a serious injury to his leg still completed the marathon!!

Kelly,Michele and Bailey were going with me to run in Cheryl. Along the way we got to see Lisa Feldt running through the chute to the finish line. We also saw the very last 1/2 marathoner come in she was escorted by a police car.

As we were walking along we were whooping and hollering at the Marathoner's trying to give them as much encouragment as possible. When we were still close to the finishing line we would yell almost there, but the further away we got we had to stop doing that. I really hate it when people tell you, you are almost there when you really aren't!! As we were nearing the end of the 1/2 a lady was yelling out almost there and it's all down hill from here. I asked her if she was lying to us and she said no it's the truth and it was!
It was amazing to see the looks of determination on the faces of these people. Some looked great but a lot looked like they were in pain. We called out as many names as we could and Bailey would give them nick names like Slick Rick or Roscoe P. PoopHead. That girl was her own traveling comedy show! LOL

Although a few people looked at us like we were crazy and a few even seemed to be mad at us, it was the smiles we got from the people who needed us that made it so great!!! We also got a few people telling us we were going the wrong way and what's wrong you didn't get enough yet. Just as we were headed down Dillards hill I could see Jane.... oh my gosh I was SO excited!! She looked so great and so strong, I got a quick hug and we all cheered her on.

She told me tonight that it really helped her seeing us. A little way behind her was Coach O she was struggling a little bit but I think we helped her as well. I saw quite a few people I know from races and stuff and it was fun to cheer for them and to see the smile on their faces when they would recognize me. I also got to see Wanda one of our girls from Jazzercise. She walked 26.2 miles I can't even imagine that!! I walked with her a little bit about half way back up Dillards hill and then I let her go and I ran back to the girls. I wish I could of had 1/2 the energy I was experiencing at that time during my race!!

It was such a weird weather day yesterday. It started off warm and sunny and then the clouds came and the wind really picked up and cooled us off. After we had finished our race we were all cold so I had on a t-shirt and a jacket and Bailey and Kelly had their foil blankets. About 1/2 way to Cheryl the sun came back out and we got hot so Kelly and Bailey tied their blankets around their necks and wore them like capes.

We had just passed Cajuns Warf and we were on Titus Trail, during the walk down we were very careful to be respectful of the Marathoners and not actually walk on their course. It was starting to get a bit tricky to keep heading in the opposite direction and stay out of their way. By this time the majority of them were walking a lot. One guy that we were cheering for asked if one of us had a phone, I said yes do you need it. He said dial this # and tell my brother I'll be there in about 30 minutes. I said are you serious??? He said yep so I jogged along beside him to make sure I got the number right and the name of his brother. That was a fun phone call to make!! His brother was funny he said is he actually still moving. I got to say hi to them at the end after Cheryl finished.

After that I got a hold of Cheryl and asked her where she was, she was almost at mile 24... perfect because we are at mile 24. To stay out of the way we waited at the intersection for her and suddenly we could see her coming. Wearing that Green skirt was a great idea it was so easy to pick her out!!!! She was running and looking great!! Bailey started sprinting towards her with her "cape" flying behind her. We all started screaming Cheryl's name and jumping up and down we were so excited!!!

When she got up to us we all just fell in beside her and we were her cheering squad/entourage. We were still cheering on other people but our main focus was Cheryl, she looked great but she was starting to hurt and get tired. We just kept chatting away at her, I'm sure she doesn't remember most of it but that's ok, we were just trying to keep her going. I think it was right after we topped Dillards Hill they were giving out beer. Cool, sure I'll have one... since we were almost at the end I thought why not. It was really not that great, kind of bitter and not very cold. I took a few sips and then tossed it, I think the idea of drinking a beer while running was better than the reality!

Soon after the beer we came upon the Lipstick stop and of course we all had to stop and get some lipstick. That was a lot of fun!!!
We knew we wouldn't be able to run Cheryl all the way to the finish... or I guess we thought we couldn't but now that I think about it I remember seeing a lady with a kid running someone else in...hmmmm. Oh well it doesn't matter because that was Cheryl's moment!!!

So we had to split off when we got to the finishing chute... I was so determined to see Cheryl cross the finish line that I started sprinting around the bleachers and the whole time I'm still screaming her name. I know that people thought we were crazy pretty much that whole journey but I didn't care I loved every single moment of it!!!!!!!!

We weren't the only one's cheering for Cheryl.. the Cruisers were out in force cheering her on. When we talked about it later she thought they just happened to be there, but NO they were there for her!!! She also had quite a few family members cheering her on.

Cheryl it was thrilling to be a part of your marathon I will never ever forget it!! This journey might be over, but I hope we have many more ahead of us!!

Love you girl!!!! You ROCK!!! Cheryl.. Cheryl.. Cheryl!!!


Terri said...

I read Cheryl's blog about her marathon experience and cried a little and now reading yours my eyes are teared up. You guys are awesome!

Cheryl said...

What a great friend I have - I'm all teary eyed again! I'm so glad you were there! Love you!!

Great report, but horrible pics, I look sick :(

Susan said...

Wow Annette! You know, I can not read a marathon story without crying, and this is no exception!

What a good friend you are!

Cheryl looks GREAT in the pics.

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