It’s really been quite a week. The summer is over, the end being marked by the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach. Somehow I asked to be a founder of the race nearly 10 years ago now so I’ve been very pleased to see it grow into a solid event on the annual race calendar.
After I finished the announcing at the start line, getting all the waves off and on to the course, I made my way to the finish line. The start, by the way, is more fun than you can imagine. The waves give everyone a chance to stand at the start line and have an uncrowded opening mile. To be honest, I thought the wave start was a terrible idea. Guess it just shows how wrong I can be.
This first photo is what the finish line looks like from the photo bridge. At 2:08 on the clock there had probably been 6 or 7,000 finishers already. We’re looking down the boardwalk and things look pretty calm and organized. The runners are focused on finishing, they are smiling or shouting or doing whatever they need to do to finish.
This, though, is what it looks like just behind the finish line. Total chaos. That’s not the race organizer’s fault. They are doing everything they can to keep things under control. There’s water and cold towels and sports drink and medals and more. The problem is that when it’s over, people just stop. STOP. It’s like they paid to run 13.1 miles and they are NOT going to run one more step.
I think it’s because when you finish, and I’m no different than anyone else in this, you are in a bubble of personal emotions. If it’s been a great day you’re in that bubble of celebration. If it’s been a terrible day you’re in a bubble of disappointment. If you’re like me and simply stunned that you’ve actually finished – good or bad – you just want to stand there in disbelief.
It just struck me on Sunday that most participants never get to see this view behind the finish line. Next time you cross the line remember that there are probably thousands of folks behind you.
ORN [Obligatory Running Note – from the old Dead Runners Society list] I had a bit of a setback in my running over the past week. I didn’t get to run at all when I was at the Indy MotoGP, so that took me out for 4 days, and then I managed to get a bit of an intestinal bug which took me out for another several days. In total I didn’t run for a week.
There’s not much you can do when that happens except to take a few step backs and start in. The first few days after being off for a week are pretty ugly. What I do is alter my run/walk ratio to something that I can handle. That way I still get in the distance and time that I want without risking getting hurt.
OSN [Obligatory Scootering Note] Max, the name of the Piaggio MP3, is beginning to work his way into the rotation of motorcycles in the garage. For those who are keeping track, there’s Fat Albert, a BMW R1150R, Gus, a BMW F650GS, and Sunny, a BMW F650CS. That’s just on my side. Jenny’s got Ruby, her R1150R and Lucy, her bright red F650GS.
What I’m finding is that there are clearly times when hopping on the Piaggio makes much more sense than dragging out one of the motorcycles. The other night Jenny and I wanted to have dinner at P.F. Chang’s and it just made perfect sense to throw on the helmets and jackets and hop on the Piaggio.
It’s fun, no doubt about that. But it’s also convenient. It’s literally a turn-key operation. And after 40 years of motorcycling it’s been wonderful to find a new and interesting way to ride.
This weekend I’m off to Oregon, Illinois to spend time with an old friend doing – you guessed it – riding scooters along the Rock River. He’s got a Piaggio MV250 tourer and we’re going to go looking for curvy roads along the Rock River.