hot n' heavy
the mad city marathon is in the books for 2006. it was 90 degrees and humid, so many of us were seriously questioning our choice of leisure activities. we midwesterners have been training in 40 degree weather for the past few months, so most of us wilted badly. they eventually called the race when they ran out of medical assistance.
still, there were many highlights:
1. kids with hoses. every block or two, a family would set up a hose or makeshift shower to spray down the runners. the little kids seemed to enjoy this a lot -- some even brought out their super-soakers.
2. rainbows. i'm not sure whether anybody else saw rainbows in the mist from these showers, but it was a beautiful image to me.
3. massage. i cramped up pretty badly after the race, so the massage tent was heavenly. when i apologized for my deep funkitude, my student masseuse laughed and looked on the bright side: sweaty runners don't need lotion. [ewwwww.]
4. lakeshore path. it was cool and shaded along the lake -- a route i'd taken about 3000 times as a graduate and undergraduate student. i gave a smile and salute to the social science building.
5. the coolest tattoo i've ever seen. as i slowed a bit mid-race, a solidly-built young man steamed by at a strong pace. he was sporting a full-back tattoo of two angel's wings. it could have signified running and flying, good and evil, or some wind-beneath-his-wings thing. but the artwork was fantastic and the image was arresting.
6. finishing. even after they had pulled up the cones and called the race, the runners kept filing in -- 5 hours, 6 hours, 7 hours from the start.
7. volunteers. all the volunteers seemed to be in good spirits, and young esperanza staffed the water/gatorade station at mile 24. she was proud that men's winner joe kurian selected her gatorade over all the other outstretched hands. despite the aforementioned funkitude, she even gave me a hug as i waddled past.
i set a personal record, but not in a good way. it took me about 4 hours and 27 minutes to finish, which is almost an hour over my times in recent years. still, i had the same sweet feeling at the finish line.