Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cape Cod Marathon from a run-pectator perspective..

On Sunday, Lisa ran the Cape Cod Marathon, and I had offered to support her the last part of the race. Mother Nature had other ideas - we had a wicked October snowstorm barrel across New England on Saturday night, making things logistically tricky. I woke up at my mom's house to this:

Trees down everywhere

Luckily, Sara's mom was also running the race and had to venture down to Falmouth on Sunday as well. Sara has a 4 wheel drive vehicle, was able to maneuver through the slick roads, AND we would both have good company on the drive down to the Cape and back. Everyone's a winner!

We worked out logistics such that we would be able to see Lisa, Sara's mom, AND her step-dad several times. It took some color coded spreadsheets to make it happen, but we were confident to be the best supporters on the course!

The start of the Cape Cod Marathon
While there was no snow down the Cape, holy CRAP was it windy! A steady 30ish mph wind, with gusts of over 50mph! That'll take a toll over 26.2 miles - yikes!

We saw all three of our runners (looking AWESOME) at mile 2-ish, 4.5ish, and then again around mile 9.5, where Sara jumped in with her mom. After I was done cheering there, I hopped in the Jeep and called Scott (Lisa's husband). We agreed on a sweet cheering spot at mile 19.4, where I would jump in and help Lisa finish out her kick ass race.

I arrived to 19.4 early, and screamed my brains off for all the runners. There were ALL rockstars for even MAKING it that far on such a challenging course, along with the crazy winds. There were a lot of tired marathoners out there, so I did everything I could to support them.

I saw my favorite runner crest the hill, and off we went. I assessed the situation - Lisa looked great, but I could tell she was tired. My job was simply to get her through the next 7 miles as quickly as possible, while allowing her to finish with a smile on her face. I told stories, tried to shield her from the wind when those gusts whipped up, and distract her with my silly antics.

We passed the mile 20 mile marker, and there was a digital clock. I took a silent mental note, glanced at my Garmin, and did some fuzzy math. I knew Lisa's PR was 3:56; we'd have to haul up and over the hills, and hope to God the winds died down to beat her PR. To me, it was worth a shot.

I would pick people out to try to catch and pass, remind her to stay in the moment, and occasionally say something stupid just to make her laugh. There was twice I remember looking at my Garmin, picking up the case ever so slightly, and she would hang with me stride for stride. I smiled - I was so proud of her strength out there.

We hit Mile 25 and it was game time. I told her that I wanted her to leave everything on that course. I told her I wanted her to be so hurting when she crossed that finish line that she might just throw up on her shoes. I told her to imagine her feet going "tap, tap tap" on the ground - light and quick. And of course, I told her to stop swearing at me internally as I was giving her some "tough love".

She crossed that finish line in 3:57, and she looked A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Seriously, I was teary bc I was so damn proud. Look at this finish people:

What a finish!!
What a great day - I am so thankful that Lisa allowed me to have a part in her special day. I loved spectating, and then being able to get her to that finish line upright and smiling. Maybe I'll ditch the marathons and take up spectating/supporting as a sport..  ;)

Stretching and getting warm, post race. 
Congratulations Lisa!! 

Happy Training!


  1. oh gosh this made me want to cry. i am totally recruiting you to run with me!!! you sound like a great spectator. you need to come run with us please! what is your next race lady

  2. OK, now my turn to cry! Thank you, thank you, thank you....that doesn't even do it justice. You rock :)

  3. What a great friend!! I can't imagine running a marathon with those kinds of winds. I hate running in the wind more than just about any other type of weather including snow and rain. It just sucks! And for her to get a PR still....awesome!

  4. You are a terrific friend! It's an adventure you two will never forget. I know we've never met, but would you come to Houston in January and run the last 7 miles with me? :^)

  5. How nice of you to give her the support at the best time! I hate the last 6 miles of a marathon!! I think it's great when friends support one another like this. My friend did the same for me in Long Beach but I was such a mess that I couldn't even appreciate her support like I should have!!

  6. Great job Meaghan! I can tell by reading Lisa's report how much it meant to her! Way to brave the elements!

  7. What An Awesome Idea! Way to be the supporter!

  8. What a great friend you are! I can't imagine running at all in those conditions, a marathon is unthinkable. Congrats to both of you!