Can I just start by saying this race was an ass kicker? No? Okay then, I’ll just let you know how it went.
Our day started at 2 a.m. James got up, showered, dressed, and prepped for the full marathon. I had to get up to take him to the place where he caught his shuttle bus. He had to go a few miles up the road as his race was point-to-point, and his bus left around 3:15 a.m. I was back in bed by 3:30.
I wasn’t actually able to fall back to sleep after that, so I just laid there and rested until my alarm went off at 4:30. James had a kick-off time of 5:30. The half-marathon started at 6:35, and my in-laws came to pick me up at about 5:30 or so to take me to the start line (it’s not a proper race without numerous trips to the port-a-loo before gun time, so it’s important to get there plenty early to stand in the loo lines… over and over again). My father-in-law, Rick, was running the 10K, and his race started at 6:40. We both had the same start line, both were an out-and-back, and no, we don’t understand why they sent out the faster-paced 10K group after the slower-paced half-marathon group, but whatever.
Rick and I had a helluva time trying to get a selfie. Neither one of us could work the camera that early in the morning and it was super dark. OH! Of special note… when you start a race in pitch black dark, DO NOT put the lid down on the port-a-loo!! Just saying!
It all started off wonderfully… the sun eventually started to come up… there was a cruise ship docked with all its lights on that we could look out onto… there was a beautiful sunrise. But then we got up to the highway with which we were to run our various distances… all 1550 or so runners… on one shoulder of the highway… the busy 2-lane highway.
Unfortunately, a 70-year-old man went down at mile 2. He was running the 10K and had apparently passed me going out (I started at the back of the pack so as not to interfere with any of the fast runners). And when the emergency vehicles come with their sirens and lights, what do all the cars on the busy highway do? They pull over to the shoulder of the road, don’t they… where everyone was running. But I didn’t have a clue there was a runner down… and this was wrong on so many levels.
I passed that man at mile 2… EMTs were doing CPR on him with chest compressions. That’s enough to scare the hell out of anyone and disturb their mental game, especially as he was an experienced runner. Try to shake that sight from your mind while you’re in the midst of a hard-ass run. It ain’t easy… both my father-in-law and I had to pass him on the ground… and we both were shaken.
Back to the race, running on the slanted shoulder of the highway, I ran about 6 miles into the sun, as it got hotter and hotter (James passed me at his mile 20, my mile 6… we exchanged a kiss). But no, I promised I wouldn’t complain about the heat, especially as they had aid stations about every 1 to 2 miles with misters to cool you off, although there came a point where the misters just didn’t work anymore, and the aid stations became far and few between. But, again, I’m not going to complain about the heat because I haven’t been able to run outside for ages, and it’s been awesome…
The bottom line is… I didn’t do enough long runs in my training to pull me through strong (illness, sucky weather, rebelling against the treadmill), and I actually did realize this before the race even started, but this was probably my one and only chance to knock Hawai’i off my half-marathon state list, so I had to do it regardless.
By mile 10, I was struggling. My feet were swollen and blistered from the heat of the highway. I started to get super angry… angry with the race, the cars, my feet, the freaking hills, not being able to see any whales… you name it, I was pissed off about it.
The outcome? Eventually I crossed the finish line. Smiling. My time wasn’t good or pretty, but I made it and I crossed. And now I get to enjoy a week of fun in the sun. But I gotta tell you… it was hard as hell getting up the next morning to continue with my run streak… but I did… we both did, and it hurt… badly.
My son AJ… he slept through it all.
The runner down at mile 2… so far as we know, and from what the race director has told all participants, he survived. He had a heart attack but was successfully resuscitated.
Not a race I care to repeat… but really happy I did it just this once.