Saturday, September 8, 2012

USMC Heartbreak Ridge 1/2 Marathon 2012 - Part 1

This was our whole reason for the trip.  Okay, maybe not the whole reason, but it was the original excuse for a trip down to see the kids.  Since Corb and I have both been training for the full next month, this seemed like a great one to add to the calendar.  Flights were booked and time taken off work so when it became obvious last month that I was taking a break from training, we were still fully committed to coming.  Fine by me - since this would be both Corbin and Karalee's first half's and if I couldn't run it with them, then the next best thing was to be at the finish line!!

As with any good event, they usually plan a children's 5k or 1k walk or something with it to get the kids involved and MRSOC didn't disappoint!  Chloee was so stoked for her race she could hardly stand it!  She was planning on me running it with her and there was gonna be no stoppin the two of us!  I just realized that I have a lot of !!! in this paragraph!!  Whatev's - we are excited over here.

Registration was at 6:30am, which seemed kind of late to me since usually most races would already be well under way by the start time of 8:30 of this one.  I worried for those on the course in the heat, but at least the kids were first.
Bib pinned on and ready to go!

Their course was 3 laps around the parade deck.  After a moment of silence for 9/11, colors and the USMC song, they gave some final instructions to the kids.  1,2 or 3 laps but no more, bigger kids to the front so the little's didn't get trampled and to have FUN!
(colors - some serious thoughts coming in a future post)

pre race hydration

Good to go!

I let Chloee position us, asked her if she wanted to do the full three (got the nod - yes), and then waited for the horn.

That girl took off!  She is a runner - through and through a runner!  Can I tell you how happy that makes my heart?  She found her stride and stayed with it the entire time,  I just kept up with her.  The crowd was fabulous in cheering each and every kid!  Nothing like a man in uniform telling a child how wonderful they are and encouraging the with a strong look in the eye.  After the first lap and I realized that she was not slowing and HATED getting passed by bigger kids (she would speed up and my heart would laugh at her competitiveness), I told her that if she let go of my hand she would be more efficient and faster.  Nope.  Clutched tighter.  Twice more I suggested a change in her form and using both her arms, but the idea fell on deaf ears.  We were running it together!

On the last half of the third lap, she asked to go another round.  I reminded her that we weren't allowed to and I have to admire the fact that she wasn't even panting, just a nice easy breathing through her nose.   I showed her a trick in picking a person a short distance ahead and sprinting to pass.  She really didn't need much encouragement there, she spotted the pink shorts up ahead and went for them!

As we turned into the finisher's chute and crossed the finish line where MRSOC were waiting to place a medal on her neck I could almost feel her mixed emotions seeping through.  Excited at finishing and finishing so strong, and sad that it was over already.

Her parents were so happy - reminding her over and over again how great she did.  She had set a goal to run a race, win a medal and she followed through.  Life lessons in running start right at the very beginning eh?

Girl is a runner.  Plain and simple enough.  A runner.  Think don't make my heart a little bit happy?  Heck yeah!


tammy said...

I love it. She makes me smile!

" Hit It......." said...

This was so worth your trip. You need to crop those pictures in and frame them. Chloe' has a lot of you in her. You both make me smile. Have fun if you are still there.

DesertHen said...

What a super little runner she is going to be!! I loved that you got to run with cool!

Sue said...

She is turning into a mini you!
What a little darling.