Saturday, May 8, 2010

Bull Canyon Run 2010 - The Second Time Around

This is Officer Cool. He was very kind to me. Especially since he didn’t give me a ticket for going below the minimum speed limit!
I was the last runner in at the Bull Canyon run this morning. 
And my pace was good...for me. 
It is a little disconcerting being the last one in when you know you’re going to have to finish a marathon in a few months. 
Did you know marathons actually have course times? This means that the course is open for a certain number of hours and then it closes. Which means, you can keep running but there is no more traffic control or SAG vehicles. If you are moving so slowly that you can’t clear the course before it closes, my guess is you need a SAG vehicle more than the runners in front of you!
I cleared the course before it was closed. But they were rolling up the course behind me as I ran by! :)
Officer Cool was sweeping the course. Let me pause here to mention two things: 
1- I regret I didn’t get his actual name. But Officer Cool is fitting. 
2- Officer Cool is a great sweep because not only does he stop to ask if you if you’re ok, he reminds you what to think about.
When he pulled up beside me between the 7K & 8K points he said, “Doing ok?”
“Yeah. Doin’ good.”
OMG! Staying hydrated is the most important thing in running and often times the most neglected. I think Officer Cool has done this before! I never have had a sweep or SAG staff ask me if I was hydrated. I was impressed. 
Officer Cool made a few more sweeps of the course and when I was about half way through the last 1k I heard him behind me. I thought, “Wow! Is he going to follow me the rest of the way in?” (I already knew I was the last one coming in). Then I thought, “Poor guy, this is going to take awhile!”
He followed behind me all the way to the finish. I could hear his bike engine sputter at the slow speed it had to maintain. I didn’t know how he kept the bike upright at such a low speed. Cyclists know what I’m talking about. :) 
It was pretty cool having a police escort in. But I found there were some additional bonuses. First off, Kris was waiting right there at the finish line. I mean he was standing one foot behind the finish line with a big smile on his face. It was the best to see him waiting for me looking so proud! 
Then, since the race was “chipped” the announcer saw my name pop up on a computer screen as I ran across the pre-finish mat. So they interrupted the award ceremony to announce: “We have our last 10k runner coming in right now!” Crowd started cheering. “Here comes Jill Stivers of Santa Maria crossing the finish line right now!” The crowd gave me a great cheer. It was really nice of them! 
A small part of me was bummed about being last....again. But mostly I was glad I made the whole distance. (By the way, I ran the whole distance. No walk breaks this time). :) And I think it was good for me because I think I’m starting to understand that I run because I like the challenge and the way it makes me feel. I don’t have to be fast to love it. Besides, someone has to be last. Why not me? 
So I thought if I have to be the last one in, I would come in with my head high and my signature enthusiasm! :) So I waved, (Yes I still had the strength to hold my arms over my head) and then as I came over the finish line I flashed the “V” for victory sign as if I was the first in. In fact, the “Victory” was clearing the course. 
But the very best part of all was that Kris wrapped me up in his arms and he gave me a big kiss smack on the mouth in front of the whole crowd. I felt like I could run forever then! :) 

Don't forget I am raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as I am training for my marathon. Please feel free to pass my blog address to who may be interested. And always, please consider making a donation! 

Thank you all. See you again soon! 


Tanya said...

Hi Jill-I found your blog while trying to see if the results were up yet for the Bull Canyon. Congratulations on your finish! I was in the crowd cheering you on; I've finished deadfreaking last in a race and I know it can be a little discouraging. I'm glad you finished with a smile. Good luck with your marathon (I just did my first one last December) and keep running!

Cindy said...

Way to go Jill! Your description of the marathon makes it pretty tempting - until I think about the pain! With the training help, though, I'm sure you'll make it :)