On Sunday I went out to support my Sister In Law with her first Marathon. I had thought about trying to walk / run the half but could never get any supporters so that went by the wayside. As it got closer I was glad it did. This was her event and it should be about her. And when my first half comes around I don't want to half-ass it.
We went up Friday to pick up her packet in what was a let down of an expo. But it was still kind of cool to see Newport. Sunday morning came around and I left the house at 4:45am to first get Megan and then pickup our Mother In Law. We drove, and drove, and drove and were finally pulling into second beach in Middletown RI around 6:30am. The sun was rising over the crashing waves creating an absolutely breathtaking red sunrise. I think at that point there were tears in all of our eyes.
Thankfully a nice lady told us we were in the wrong parking lot and we made our way up to the proper lot. We got out into the windy cold weather and made our way to the buses. Once we loaded up we were seated next to two guys who had run Hartford the day before (of course sporting their shirts -- throughout the day we'd see lots like that).
We pulled up to the start and milled around for a bit. Meg got her number pinned on, her belts adjusted, etc. Finally they blew up the starting arch. We made our way over and left Meg at the start. Sharon and I walked up the pathway and found a great spot overlooking the race course and the beach. I may have taken a few pictures. The race began and I just started taking pictures. We never saw Megan, though I later found her in my pics (once zoomed in and asking her for her approximate location).
Once the pack passed us we walked, and walked and walked and found a nice spot around Mile 10. We watched a ton of racers go by. Meg had texted me when she was at Mile 7 so we knew approximately when she'd be coming by. She handed off her extra shirt and continued on.
Then we walked a bit more to meet up with my brother in law and nephew and Meg's brother, his finace and their daughter. We all walked down to the finish since there was no easy way to get to the back half of the course.
When Megan finished we were all so happy for her and proud of her. It was just and awesome accomplishment.
I will say watching all the runners in their half marathon bib's made me jealous. Seeing them I knew I could do it. I knew I would do it. Now it's just time for training and next year will be my year.
Over the course of the day Sharon and I walked over 7 miles and were on our feet for over 6 hours.
The Newport Marathon was a beautiful course. The back half was rough from what everyone said. I also think from a spectator perspective and a cheering group perspective it would have been nice if we could have gotten anywhere on that half to support our runners, but it was impossible.
Overall I could not be happier I went to watch that!