Monday, June 27, 2011

Rock & Roll Marathon 2011

You're probably looking at the above picture and wondering what month it is. Well, let me assure you that it is indeed late June, but we're still wearing our coats because even though the calendar says June, it feels like October.

I woke up on Saturday morning around 4:00, with butterflies in my stomach. I lay in bed with my eyes open listening to Jon race around the house as he was getting ready for the Seattle Rock & Roll Marathon. My role in all of this was to make sure the girls were up by 5:30, dressed and ready for when the cab would arrive to pick us at 6:30 -- Jon had left much earlier. We did not want to be late because the girls were invited by the American Cancer Society to hold the finish line tape for the first place winner of the 1/2 marathon.

We arrived at the finish line long before anyone else aside from marathon staffers, the media and photographers. Security was in full force making sure the folks with access could get through the barricades and considering we weren't staff, media or photographers I worried that they wouldn't let us through. I told security that my girls would be holding the finish line tape and they gladly let us in giving us full access to everything. I made a point to stand with the photographers trying my best to look official.

Since it was so early, there wasn't much to do so I snapped a few pictures.

When it came time for the first 1/2 marathoner to come through the finish line a flurry of activity ensued. The first order of business was to unroll the finish line tape and position it precisely at 13.1 miles. Then we were given the news that the girls would not be holding the tape and that it would be ME holding it instead. The girls were too short as the tape needed to be held at the waist. I was disappointed that the girls didn't get a chance to do their job, but they really didn't seem to care. Holding the other end of the tape was a couple from the TV show, The Bachelor. I had no idea who these people were, but apparently they're famous. Had I known I'd be standing there next to real live TV personalities, I'd probably had run a comb through my hair. I couldn't help feeling inferior to the young girl standing opposite me -- she and her bright smile; teeth procured from deep sea oysters and me with my crooked canines and scrap metal for teeth. It was not the morning I had expected.

I saw the first runner rounding the corner to the finish line and then my excitement grew. Everybody was screaming and cheering, whooping and whistling -- it was exhilarating. The race official said to me just as I could see the runner approaching, "Now when the runner comes through the finish line, drop your end. Just let it go, okay?" I nodded to show that I understood, but actually I was confused. I thought the runner ran through the tape, breaking it in half,  I didn't realize I had to release the tape at just as the runner was coming over the finish line. I got nervous. What if I didn't release my end on time? What if the runner bounced off the taught tape and was ejected back before the 13.1 mile mark? Would they deduct that from his time? Oh darn. Now beads of sweat was forming on the back of my neck and it didn't help that the TV couple didn't have to do anything -- they just had to stand there looking radiant with their pearly whites reflecting shards of light at the photographers. Then, once I saw the runner nearing the tape my hands opened, splayed out like jazz hands allowing the tape to fall ceremoniously to the ground and the runner crossed the finish line without incident. Whew. I was so glad that part was over.  

Here he is -- the winner of the 1/2 marathon!

Here is the first female runner! She was super quick too.

Even though our job was done, we remained in the thick of it, standing with the photographers so I could pretend to be one of them. I couldn't believe I was standing there amongst all the other photographers -- they with their tricked out lenses and utility belts and me with my simple Nikon and stock lens -- I didn't care. I acted the part of photographer and put my modest camera in with the rest of'em. I think I got a good shot.

After the half there were noticeable worn knees.

Then it was off to watch the full marathoners! Here's a guy who came in somewhere around the top 20. He put on a show for us by doing a push-up after he crossed the finish line. Mighty strong guy.

Then Jon came in looking stronger than ever. #34 out of 26,000 runners with a time of 2:59:52. That's under 3 hours!! Holy moly!! And what's even more amazing is that this is precisely the same time he finished last year's race.

I used one of the photographer's lines and said, "Let's see the medal."
Jon's team, Team Determination raised over $200,000 for the American Cancer Society. See the gal with blonde hair sitting next to the guy in the white shirt? She's in the next Twilight movie and also stars in a TV show -- I can't recall which one.
And it wouldn't be a Rock & Roll Marathon without the bands. Still feeling much like one of the photographers, I got up to the stage and snapped this picture of the band, Everclear. They sounded awesome!!

Thank you, friends and family for your generous donations. Because of you, Jon raised over $2,000 for the ACS. He ran this race for Alex and the countless others whose lives have been touched by cancer. I asked Sammy if she would like to someday run a marathon and her response was, "Yes, but I'll probably be off somewhere digging up dinosaur bones." HA!


  1. Thanks Maya, great post! Thanks for getting the girls down to start line so early I know it wasn't easy. Too bad you weren't holding the line with some of the women from "The real house wives of _ _" you would have been much more impressed ;).

  2. It was all for a good cause and all of you looked like you had alot of fun especially the girls. Good job to all of you and a high five for Jon coming in 34th place!

  3. @Anonymous. The race was so much fun for me and my girls. The Bachelor couple was not only super cute, they were extremely humble and kind. I'm so glad that so many people came out to support the runners and the cause. Thank you for your comment. All the best to you!!

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