Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chapter 2 page 444 - Packet pick up

As most of you regular readers know, I led a group called Spring Into Training this past summer.  As a result, I've continued to mentor some of the graduates while others have been finding their way on their own.  Yesterday's Fort 4 Fitness race had 9,300 participants and is tailored perfectly for both elite and newbies making it an ideal race for most everyone.  The race has 3 distances (4 mile, 10K, and half marathon).  Because the race is "so big" compared to what the SIT graduates are accustomed to I offered to organize an "outing" for packet pick up.  This event was my first ever half marathon a year ago and my running partner "C" showed me the ropes - so I felt the need to pay it forward to the SIT graduates.
We met up and drove together to the baseball stadium which served as the event's packet pick up as well as the race's finish line.  While we were there we checked out their Health and Fitness Fair (it's not an expo like  most events - the race is sponsored by a hospital so all of the booths are giving out health information).  The local running store has an area where they sell gear, clothes, and accessories at a discount so we hit that up - I bought 4 tubes of body glide . . . a big girl who runs half marathons can never have enough of that . . . especially when it's on sale!

We then went to the packet pick up area of the event and everyone had their confirmation post cards which made it very easy.  We all got our packets and met up at the end of the tent and made sure everything was straight - good thing we did - one girl had a bib but no corral assignment on it.  After that got straightened out, we got a group photo.

Back Row L to R:  Stacey (doing her 2nd 10K), Bri (doing her first4 Miler), Marcia (doing her first 4 Mile), Tia (doing her first half marathon), "C" (doing her 6th half half marathon); Front Row L to R:  Emily (doing her first half marathon), "L" (chief cheerleader), Kristen (doing her first half marathon), moi (doing my 5th half marathon),  and April (doing her first half marathon)

"C", "L" and I (who all did the race last year) helped the others who were doing the race for the first time.  We discussed how/where to meet up with family after the race, where the starting line was, how corrals work, where to get dropped off at in the morning, where the restrooms and porta johns were, and a whole slew of other details.  I think it really helped the newbies - knowing = nerve calming (at least I think it is).  Afterward, I had made arrangements for the group to eat out at a local Italian restaurant (gotta carb up) that has been getting rave reviews from my friends (although, not so much from Urbanspoon).  It was EXCELLENT and we'll definitely make this an annual "pre-F4F" event.

Before our food came, I had "C" write the same 4 quotes on my arm that got me through the Chicago RnR Half.  They served me well and knowing I was going to do this race alone, I wanted them on my arm once again!  Quote #1 from I'm A Sleeper Baker:  You are capable of more than you Realize!  Quote #2:  Run hard, be strong, think BIG!  Quote #3:  All it takes is all you've got!  Quote #4:  It only hurts up to a point (and we ran of room to finish it . . and then it doesn't hurt any more". 

We even posed for another group photo - doesn't everyone is looking super excited and race ready?  I'm sooo proud of these ladies.  Many of them would have NEVER thought about doing a race just 6 months ago and now look - they were less than 12 hours away from doing a race with 9,300 other participants!   

Wow - soooooo honored to have been invited to be on the journey with them!!!! 


  1. It has been so fun to be along for the "ride". You and "C" did totally awesome, I am so very proud of both of you. I wanted to come down to the field, but was not allowed. Then there was the rain. I peddled all the way back to return the bike. Thank you for letting me be a part of this event. "L"

  2. Oh I love the quotes on your arm. I might have to try that.

  3. Love it, can't wait to read the rest! What a way to spend the night before the race, bet it was calming to be with friends! So glad to have met up with you after the race! Congrats again girl, you rock!