I made several attempts to give an update about the Berry race. Now it’s just “the race that never happened”…but it’s worth documenting my time leading up to the moment over 1,000 runners were told “Sorry, see you next year.”
I chose Berry as my first
half marathon 10K for one obvious reason: the landscape is GORGEOUS. As luck would have it, two of my friends are Berry Alumni and one of them already had a hotel room booked near the campus for an event she was working the same weekend. I jumped on the opportunity for a “girls getaway” and left work early that Friday.
My friend Lindsay and I jammed out to old school tunes and made our way to the expo. (This is where I have to get better at taking pics…forgot to snap some of the expo). It was relatively small, but not too crowded. Picked up my bib, my free tote bag, and perused the vendor tables.
I did have a pang of disappointment as I saw the half marathon runners pick up their bag. (I injured my ankle in January, to the point that I didn’t feel comfortable attempting the half.)
But I didn’t care. I was in my element, ready to carb-o-load and hang out with my ladies!
A crack of thunder woke me up at 5:30am. Seconds later, the alarm went off. I immediately checked Twitter and Facebook to see if the race coordinators gave an update. Sure enough. “Race is on, rain or shine.” — “Thunder and lightning reported, race delayed.”
My friends and I got ready and headed down to the lobby for some fancy continental breakfast. I looked around and smiled, seeing the other runners silently eating their oatmeal, bananas, oranges…checking their phone for updates. I did the same, but first I had to share my excitement on Twitter. Ironically one of my favorite running bloggers was also running a 10K. Two thumbs up for a reply! That totally made my morning.
More delays were announced due to lightning, but I shrugged it off and checked the temperature, realizing that I definitely needed a poncho and throw away sweatshirt. After a pit stop for both items we arrived at Berry.
I was ecstatic. And nervous. Even with the compression socks, my ankle felt weak. We slowly made our way to the starting line, finding shelter underneath one of the many tents. Music was playing, runners were stretching, drinking coffee, focusing and preparing for a cold, rainy race.
My friends were such troopers. Not once did they complain (okay, once Lindsay said “You’re lucky we like you, Nation, having to wake up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday.”
The minutes turned into hours (2 to be exact). First, the half marathon portion was cancelled. The race was supposed to begin at 8am and by 10:30, the race coordinator made the most unfortunate announcement : “Due to flooding, the race has been cancelled, all levels. I am so sorry.” I had conflicting emotions. I wanted to shove that microphone down his throat. I wanted to empathize, knowing he didn’t do a rain dance the night before. I wanted to cry — I did cry. For months this was on my mind. I stupidly over-exerted myself and hurt my ankle for this.
With nothing left to do or say, we began to walk back to our cars.
…but not before I took a picture underneath the finish line banner.
…and not before I crossed the finish line.
Apparently I was pulling a “sad Charlie Brown walk” and Lindsay stopped and gave me a hug. Becca had to document the moment since Linds isn’t prone to giving hugs.
That’s just a testament to how important spectators are in the running community. Those ladies stood with me, in the freezing rain, with their cowbells, ready to cheer. Not one negative word came out of their mouths the entire time.
So no, I didn’t get to run my first half marathon, or my first 10K at Berry. But that’s okay. I’ve got a 5K in June that I’m planning to PR (sub-40) and half marathon training begins in August.
As far as next year goes…I’ll be back for Berry 2014. This time for the half marathon.
- Run Happy! -