Monday, May 3, 2010

Marathons, Umbrellas and Bombs...Oh My!

It's over. And we all survived it.

I say that both jokingly and in seriousness.

Joe finished the 2010 Pittsburgh Marathon with a time of 4:30! (It's a wee bit longer than last year [4:05], but with less training and a constant drizzle, we're thrilled!)

So my fears of his collapsing and having a trained team of medical professionals franticaly seraching for me through the crowds was all for naught. The day wasn't without stresses and scares, however.

Let's start with the 5 AM wake up call I got to get everything ready to be downtown by 6:30 AM. Did I mention I'm not a morning person?

The night before I had packed enough drinks and snacks to feed a small army for a week and got the diaper bag ready with diapers and changes of clothes (E's like a sieve and pees through her clothes EVERYWHERE we go!)

I still had school work to do so I was up until 2 doing that.

We got everyone up and out the door (aided immensely by sleeping the kids in their clothes so we didn't have to wrestle with sleepy ones to get them dressed.

I laid everyone's coats over the banister and said, "Don't forget these!" to myself. Well, wouldn't you know it, I forgot them. That pleased Joe to no end when we got about a mile away and had to turn back for the coats (and BOY am I glad we did since it poured ALL day!)

Joe and I have this "thing" where we spend the morning of a race (especially a big daddy race like a marathon) anxious and hateful toward one another. We exchange angry barbs and there's lots of eye rolls and exasperated sighs. By the end of it, though when I see him cross the finish, it's always forgotten.

So the highlights of the event:

*It rained constantly
*We had to park 5 million miles away so I couldn't take the kids back to nap like last year
*It was almost impossible to navigate the strollers easily anywhere (with 16,000 runners, it was PACKED with spectators)
*With all the rain came LOTS of umbrellas--umbrellas that dripped water on us while we stood under a bridge to keep dry and umbrellas that poked us in the head and the face as they passed by.) <--didn't mean to make that rhyme!
*E indeed peed through and I had to change her standing up-in a crowd-but luckily no one noticed because there were so many people.
*THERE WAS A BOMB SCARE! Apparently, a microwave with an "alarming device inside" was found close to the finish, so the military and the police diverted the race course. That meant that the prime locale we had secured to watch Joe cross the finish was all the sudden not even on the darn course! CLICK HERE for a cool slideshow of the whole dramatic process.

There's what's left of the offending microwave after the bomb robot blew that sucker up.
*Image found at

People SWARMED where we were standing to cut between the barriers and cross the street. That meant M and I got penned in (with M in his stroller) and my sister-in-law Leanne and I were separated from our kids for a few terrifying minutes (they were on one side of the barriers and we were on the other. With a mass of strangers separating us. Talk about a heart attack. I couldn't break free from the herd of people pressing me and M up against the barriers to get to them and Leanne couldn't either. We almost got into a throw down with some people, but it makes for good stories later, right? And the kids are FINE BTW. They had no idea what was even happening.

M was SOOOO good all day. He smiled like this through everything!

*We were chatting away when we heard the explosion from the bomb squad blowing up the toxic microwave. and I yelled out to my Lord. Granted, it was more out of being startled than in prayer--and I regret that--it was just a reaction. The crowd fell silent for a second. But wouldn't you know the MC didn't miss a beat?!

*We waited agonizing minutes until we FINALLY spotted Joe. There were some false alarms where we saw people that looked like him. I broke into a cheer and started jumping up and down...all to realize it was someone else. Oh well, that guy probably felt pretty special for a few minutes. =)

*I got to meet a local celebrity: Alison Morris from KDKA. She was SUPER nice and accommodated a picture with me and some of the kids. (Notice L on the far right...he did NOT want his picture taken!)

Could Alison & I be any further apart? Ha Ha!

*Joe crossed the finish and we were all so filled with emotion. You would have thought he was returning from the war the way we all teared up and cheered. What an awesome experience for him and us!

He was so quick all we caught was his can tell he's smiling though!

I want to run next year. Not the full marathon...let's not get carried away! I think the relay or the half. We'll see...

This is my man. So proud of him! xoxoxo

Joe with our kids and the nieces and nephew.
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