The Phoenix Marathon was held today. It is a huge event. I knew it was a big deal because Rachel has been preparing to run for some time now, and I knew I was planning to go see her cross the finish line, but late last night, I got on the web site to find out where to park etc and I realized it is a HUGE EVENT. The runners start out from 3 different spots - the 26+ mile marathon, the 13+ mile half marathon and the 10k. They even had a little 1K children's run too. The route winds around the east valley. My sister-in-law Debbie, told me the runners would be going by near their house so we could see them there. As I was pulling into the neighborhood to see Rachel, I got a text from her saying "past it". Oops, she was faster than I thought. I stayed in my car and hurried through back streets to get ahead of her so I could stop and cheer her on. When I finally found a viewing spot on Stapely and Brown, I was amazed at the number of runners. At this point, they were all the half marathon runners and the pack went on for miles! After Rachel zipped by, I watched for my nieces Roni and Kelsie. This run was a first for all of them - they were so inspirational!
After cheering everyone one, I drove to the finish line. The event was held in the Mesa Riverview shopping area. There were thousands of people there. I had to shove my way through to get near the finish line. Luckily as groups crossed the finish line, the fans spread out too and I was able to work my way up to the front and see Rachel go by and over the finish line. She finished 13.1 miles in 2 hours and 29 minutes. She has never entered a race longer than a 5K and had never run more than 9 miles before. We were all excited for her. She was still smiling when she was finished.
We watched for other friends and family too. There are so many people going by, it's hard to see everyone. A couple people I was watching for zipped by before I recognized them and then I was yelling their name from behind as they has already gone by. Then after the race, everyone melts into the crowds and you can never find anyone again.
It was fun to be with friends and family today. I left the house at 6:30 am, got home at 1:00. I was gone long enough, I should have just run with them!