After months of anticipation and training the Indy mini-marathon finally arrived bright and early. Molls and I dressed in our official cheering uniforms and got downtown by seven o'clock to park. We grabbed some breakfast and coffee and then speed walked to where all the runners were waiting in their corrals. One the sidewalk I ran into Reed Steel who is a family friend, friend of camp and professional mime. He was the first person to spot and we promised to look for him later on the bridge.
The crowd is thick at the beginning with over 35,000 runners packed together. They started running before we got to the first corrals so we climbed up on a ledge in-front of the museum and watched everyone take off.
In our second year as mini-marathon cheerers we have our routine all figured out. We take pictures on this colorful wall because it's so dang cool.
Then we take the path through the backside of the zoo to see the runners at mile two before they take off for the track and the giant loop of the race. Evan Maxwell, one of my best HS friends, yelled "HEY SARAH WRIGHT!" and then we spotted Stacey Mowatt, a Day Camp counselor.
This first man really loves the Indy 500 and we're a big fan of robot man who later in the day was dancing through the final mile.
As the runners ran into the distance and we anxiously awaited their return Molls and I found our spot on the bridge. It's the perfect location to catch everyone right before the final mile and there's not too much of a crowd.
The first place runner gets a motorcade escort and we were all incredibly impressed that he finished in just over an hour.
Laura Farley, my roommates friend from Purdue, got third place for the women. I'm pretty sure she's flying in this picture. Derek Daluga was a rock star too and finished in an hour and a half.
Stacey McDonough, another Purdue friend, and Cameron Sakon, Colleen's boyfriend, breezed by like champs.
Stef Kamm, the last Purdue friend was so quick and we saw Britney Booth, 2009 Teton counselor.
Colleen knew where to find us and spotted us as soon as she got on the bridge. We saw Molly's friend Caroline from North Central, she ran a 1/2 marathon last weekend too.
Flash, Spiderman, and Captain America made an appearance. Who knew they were all best friends?
I was thrilled to see Annie and Jon Houghton, basically the parents of our entire Young Life family. Jon spotted me and I quickly got their picture-- look how after twelve miles they are still so precious and happy.
We saw Katie Gray and Bo Dietrick, two Camp T alumni counselors.
Emel wins the prize for most enthusiastic. She told me last night that she wouldn't be able to stop and take a picture but she kept her arms up with this smile for a good twenty seconds so I could get two pictures of her being such a great runner.
Elizabeth Kipp Friend saw me and told us to keep an eye out for her daughter Brenna. Then we saw Kristi Rolfsen, another camp counselor. Molls and I really love how everyone is so good at smiling and waving as they run.
I was surprised and so excited to see Brittney DeBesse, one of my favorite fellow teachers last year. Taco man was pretty fun. There were so many people wearing sombreros but it took us awhile to catch on that today is Cinco de Mayo.
About halfway through we started to up our encouragement to everyone that passed by. We figure people can only hear "Good job!" so many times.
For the last two hours Molls and I continuously yelled things like, "You're closer than you've been the whole time! When you get home you can check '1/2 marathon' off your bucket list! You can have anything you want for lunch- we give you permission. You can tweet this soon. There's only one mile left, it's the shortest one, we measured! You should eat ice-cream today. They have water up there... and bathrooms... and food... and you can sit down! 1/2 marathons look good on you. You're beating thousands of people--you're so fast. You don't have to run tomorrow... or ever again if you don't want to! They're going to give you a medal up there. You're going to look so good in a medal. You should instagram it. Next week is take your medal to work week. You could make a status about this soon, everyone will like it. You've been dreaming about this for months, you signed up so long ago, you're at the last mile--soak it up! 12 miles and you look so happy! We're so impressed with you." People really liked us.
Keltie Lake's mom said, "Hey I know you!" and we saw 2005 Teton camper Carly Witham.
Meg Usab and Kaitlyn Kennedy, more camp friends, were both so excited.
Kaitlyn took a detour to run over and hug both of us. I just kept snapping pictures, I was so shocked she had stopped.
We saw Lauren Maxwell, Evan's sister, and Hilary Hoover, another 2005 Teton girl.
Reed Steel came by ready for a picture and luckily Brenna Friend spotted us and yelled our names before she passed by.
We were excited to see Christyn Nelson, yep, another camp counselor, and Khushboo, an 8th grader with a locker right by my classroom. I tell you, the mini-marathon is just one big reunion.
I love trying to get an action shot of everyone but sometimes other runners get in the way or my shutter finger just isn't quick enough. We also saw but didn't get a picture of: Terri Raider-- my 8th grade English teacher, Megan Ernst-- one of my YL girls, Mrs. Gates and Mrs. Fagin-- moms of two of my old Tecumseh girls, Lizzy Hart-- a 2009 CILT, and Keltie Lake-- Delphi High alumni.
Good work runners, Molls and I are so impressed with all of you. We've already reserved our spot on the bridge for next year.