The Vermont City Marathon is officially in the books. Put it to bed shortly before 12:20 PM yesterday afternoon as I crossed the finish line. I don’t have a lot to say about the race itself other than what a tough day for a long run. The heat and humidity surely hampered my run and I know it did several others as well. I truly think that the biggest factor here is simply the lack of training in that sort of weather. Because up until a week ago, we have been having rain and 60 degree temps. There has been little to no acclimation to the heat and humidity. So! Going into the race, I knew it would be a tough day for me.
The RunVermont folks who put on the race did a fantastic job of coping with the heat and making it the best possible experience for all of the runners. There were aid stations every 2 miles or less. There were residents with hoses, watermelons, freeze pops and more. There were heat advisory signs along the course. They took every step imaginable to ensure that they kept runners safe. I know for me staying safe meant walking a lot more than I’m used to. I walked up the last of the Battery street hill and in various other places. I took advantage of a walk break at each and every one of the hydration stations. This also led to me having to stop for a potty break as well. Ooops!
For me the memorable part about this year’s Vermont City Marathon isn’t anything that I saw while running out on the race course, but rather what I saw while waiting for A-Sizzle (my relay partner) at the exchange. I waited some time to get over into the chute area as I wanted to make my shout out to A-Sizzle’s hubbie as he came running through on his first attempt at a full marathon. He did awesome by the way. When I did get over into the chute area, I was immediately moved by the folks as they passed their relay batons (bracelets) from one to the other. There were lots of “I Love You’s”, “Be Safe Out There”, “You Rock”, “Go Get ‘Em’s” and various other encouraging words passed from one partner to another. There were big hugs, kissed, high fives. It was an unbelievable outpouring of emotion.
It reminded me how lucky we are as runners when we find those perfect people to run with, our “running peeps.” Those who will cheer us on in the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Those who push us to reach our dreams and then push us even beyond that. People that on a regular given day, you may not have even said hello to more than once. They slowly over miles and miles become the people who you talk most freely and openly to. I was amazed at this very heart-felt feeling that was so palpable in the air at the relay exchange and I was then honored to call myself a part of the running community. Running Peeps rock and that exchange reminded me just how much so!
And then I got to run in the last few miles knowing that I had this to greet me. Ugh! I ❤ the support that I get at my races from this little man.