It was a beautiful sunny day and other than annoying traffic going into VA on 95, I made it just fine. As I mentioned before, my #BRF Angie was meeting me there to also run for Bibrave and was bringing her friend Kate from home. There was also a 3rd Bibrave runner Christine, who I have never met before, coming. Angie & Kate were expected sometime Saturday and Christine sometime later Friday night and since I arrived around 4:30 in the afternoon, I had some time to myself.
I checked into the Marriott in the Center of Newport News. It's a pretty small downtown but very cute. All centered around a lake with fountains. The hotel had a nice outdoor area so I grabbed a beer from the bar and enjoyed the remaining hour of sunshine. After that a nap, some Facetime with the fam and dinner at the Cove. All that and it was still not even quite 9 so I walked around the little downtown and the lake a few times. Eventually I made my way back to the hotel and Christine arrived around 11:30.
|Maybe I should change my name to "Beer Mom"...|
I couldn't have asked for a better day before the race on Saturday and maybe a lot had to do with the fact that I was so relaxed, as you may recall this race was just a training run for me. Christine and I didn't get up until around 9:30, I felt so great getting that extra sleep. We walked across the street to a really cute coffee shop. Breakfast was great and we had a nice time chatting.
|or I could also be coffee mom....|
|6 mile run on Saturday|
|we look amazing in Orange!|
The expo was not big but it actually was a bit bigger than I expected. I've run a couple of small marathons so I've seen packet pickup have way less than what One City had set up. We had some fun taking pictures in front of the fake finish line and headed in.
Getting our bibs and shirts was super easy and fast. Christine, Angie and I browsed the various running clothes/gear vendors while Kate got a massage and her gait analyzed.
Kate and Angie were hungry and I desperately wanted some beer so we ended up at a nice brew house. Since we had tickets to the pasta party at 6, we decided to just have some drinks and snacks. Angie and I went for the beer tasters, the biggest I ever seen. I followed that with some chocolate beer. SO GOOD.
We dropped off Christine at the hotel and the 3 of us went on a romantic walk in Yorktown. It was very cute, very colonial with some bunkers a cool bridge and a beach. Next thing we knew it was time to get back for the pasta dinner which happened to be at our hotel.
ummm Kate was really there, I swear...
I enjoyed the food and the speakers. It was nice to hear about running a marathon from a few other runners perspectives. I also really liked hearing about how the One City Marathon events had created some great community building for Newport News. There is a marathon and marathon relay but there's also an 8K and a 1 mile run. The shorter races creating an opportunity for many of the locals to be involved and become active to get ready for the races. There's also a program for kids that involves running and reading that helps them to get ready to run the 1 mile race. I know how much my kids love being involved in stuff like that and I could tell the kids from Newport News were just as excited. After thoroughly stuffing myself with pasta and cookies, it was time to get to bed especially since we were losing an hour to daylight savings (booo!!). But first we had to convince, Dylan, to give us a little bit extra time before checkout on Sunday. Runners were all granted a late 2pm checkout at the 3 partner hotels but Kate was able to convince Dylan to give us an extra half hour which would prove invaluable the next day.
|some people lay their running stuff out nicely, I prefer a giant pile|
|goofing around on the shuttle|
|ready to go!|
|the Finishing Arch|
After finishing, I received my medal (which was very substantial), water, banana, bar, orange and a throw away type of finisher jacket thingy rather than a heat sheet. The arch leads into a very lovely park that sits on the water. It was very pretty and perfect for the after party. There were recovery areas, food areas, beer areas, kid bouncy thing areas and a big stage with a very lively, fun band. Every runner had one food truck item ticket and two beer tickets. The beer choices were bud light, michelob ultra and shock top. For obvious reasons Shock Top was in high demand so if anything needs improving for next time, it's more of that! I enjoyed a taco from the taco truck. While waiting for my taco, I met a family that ran the marathon relay. The kids were 10 and 12, they were so happy and I could tell proud of themselves. I congratulated them. Then I looked around and realized there were other families that had done the same thing. It was so nice to see that this event brought so many people together in such a great way.
|out of shock top....desparate times...|
Eventually I saw Angie come through the arch. I knew it was a rough day for her. She had been sick for a couple weeks leading up to the race and hadn't had a lot of sleep due to her long trek from Iowa plus it was pretty hot the last hour and a half of her run. I was proud of her for persevering and getting the finish. We were so busy with each other we almost missed Christine who also seemed in a heat daze that she didn't hear us calling her. We also kind of forgot Kate, sorry! But we all found each other after a bit.
|One City Marathon Finishers!!|
Up next for me are a couple of short races and then I will have a few weeks before C & O Canal. It's coming up fast but unlike TARC when I was kind of freaking out, right now I feel confident and have the "bring it on" attitude towards it. Let's hope it stays that way!!