|Kasey and I on the plane!|
I was able to do some exploring on Virginia Beach the day before the race, but not a whole lot because I had to write a memorandum for class. However, I did take a break to have lunch with Charlene (@OneFootThere) from Philly. I briefly met Charlene at the Philly Marathon in 2010. She ran the 1/2 at VA Beach this past weekend and will be running the Marine Corp Marathon!
|Charlene and I.|
On the morning of the race, I opened the glass door to the balcony and saw lots of 1/2 marathoners heading to the start area. I could also see the finish area from my balcony which made me even more excited.
|Virginia Beach Boardwalk & Shamrock Marathon finisher's tent|
It was so windy at the start line on Atlantic Avenue! I joined a bunch of other marathoners in a garage to stay warm. I met Pam from New Orleans, who is a 50 stater. Shamrock was #29 for her and she was aiming for 3:30. She was very friendly and hopefully our paths will cross again. The race was delayed 15 minutes and at first people were a bit disappointed, but I think it was a good thing. I am not sure that I would have met Pam or had the opportunity to bond with a bunch of other runners in a small little garage area of a random building.
And then we were off!! I met Jamie from North Carolina at mile 1 and ran with her until mile 23. She had a shirt on that said "every step is for Ben." I asked her about her shirt and she said Ben was one of her preschool students who was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. She was running for him and raised $1,800! Ben was at the finish line with his family waiting for Jamie. It was Jamie's first marathon and I have a good feeling she will do many more. We had a lot of fun during the marathon, we took lots of pictures, had our picture taken with Army boys, danced to "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It", sang songs, and laughed a lot.
|The Army boys and gals at Camp Pendleton.|
|Bill, me, and Jamie.|
At mile 20, there was a black and white lighthouse near Fort Story. I had never seen one like this before!
I took off at mile 23, my legs felt good and I was ready to check VA off the list. I didn't even realize until I made it home that the Shamrock Marathon made me a Marathon Maniac! I am now #3632!
|The after party!|
All of the proceeds go directly to the Center which is a non-profit driven by volunteers. I went to the Center when I lost my dad suddenly in '06. They offer free support groups to people of all ages. Check out their newsletter with a feature on "50 for Billy." Center for Grieving Children Spring 2011 Newsletter