Marathon trip report
This entry is about my Seattle Marathon trip. If you are looking for a race report look here.
What a great trip.
What started out as a compromise race (just happened to coincide with my training schedule) and a cost cutting measure (traveling with other people to reduce costs) turned into a wonderful excursion.
My traveling companions were three ladies I met through a friend at the Running Room. Before the trip I knew next to nothing about any of them.
What a crazy threesome I hooked up with. They, of course, knew each other and were great friends. They have participated together in other events before this one. I was the wild-card in the group. For journal purposes, they will be referred to as Twisted Squirrel (TS), Flasher Squirrel (FS) and BonBon Squirrel (BBS). I, by the way, became known as Red Faced Squirrel (RFS).
We all started out nervous about the trip; the unknown traveler (RFS of course), the new Marathon (for all of us except TS), driving a rental car across the U.S. Border, and what to expect for weather during the marathon.
As it turned out, everything went really well. Our slightly delayed flight was bumpy, but uneventful. Our border crossing was slow (½ hr) but we had a very nice crossing guard who was more interested in the marathon and how long it was than the apples we were smuggling across the border. And as for the weather, it was the best we could have hope for; not a drop of rain the whole time we were there (well, it did rain when we were in the car a few times, but that doesn't count, right?).
When we arrived in Seattle, we were greeted by the eerie specter of the space needle glowing in the dark, surrounded by mist and a spooky glow. It looked like a UFO getting ready for take-off.
After a few wrong turns, Mother Squirrel guided us to our hotel, we grabbed a late-night (2:00 AM) snack and retired to our beds.
On day two of our trip, we visited the marathon Expo to pick up our race packages (you know, the timing chip, race number, race shirt and a ton of pamphlets and other goodies) The expo also had lots of other running paraphernalia available as freebies or for purchase.
Since the weather was cooperating, we decided to take a walk down to Pike Place Market. I actually went to the "World Famous Pike Place Fish Market", but they weren't throwing any fish at the time. While we were there, we heard these three black gentlemen singing a wonderful Christmas Gospel song; Their voices were very rich and beautiful. TS bought some prints, we got our picture taken and then went to have dinner. We had fresh seafood, of course ($$).
Day Three: Marathon day (look here for a race report) We ran about 1 1/3 miles to the race as a warm-up. FS was running in the half-marathon, therefore, her race started earlier than the rest of us. We took pictures wished her luck and then checked my post race bag, did some last minute business and mentally prepared ourselves for the race.
A short time later(!) we were all finished our races and ready to head back up the hill to the hotel. (FS didn't manage to save us any clam chowder! Poohie Sulk) We were quite a sight to see, hobbling back to the hotel with our shining silver warm-up capes flapping in the wind, finisher medals displayed proudly around our necks and big grins (and the occasional grimace) on our faces.
We somehow managed to make it through the rest of the day without a long soak in a hot-tub; for me, a hot shower really doesn't cut it after a long hard marathon. BBS & I actually managed to muster enough energy to walk down to Eddie Bauers to do some cloths shopping before supper.
After a celebratory supper and a few toasts we all decided we were tired (I wonder why) so we trundled back to our hotel room and retired for the evening.
For our last day, our travel plans called for a leisurely day with an evening flight from Vancouver to Edmonton. We packed up our stuff by 11:00 or so and all went window shopping. We expected our border crossing to take time, but were pleasantly surprised when it only took a couple of minutes. We stopped by BBS's aunts place and also had a brief stop at the Richmund waterfront. Airport security also took very little time so before we knew it, we were raising a glass in the departure lounge and ready for the flight home.
I was really fortunate to have my three squirrel friends as traveling companions. We shared a lot, laughed a lot, shopped a lot (well, more than RFS is used to, anyway) and when through a lot (remember, the marathon? Oh yeah, that). I hope I won't soon forget this wonderful adventure. I also hope I have more adventures with these wonderful people, ah, ahem, squirrels.