Last year during marathon weekend, we were the host city for the half marathon championships and instead of being held on Sunday as they normally are, they were held on the Saturday prior, on what was the first shot at what the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials course would be (it ended up changing).
As early as one year out, volunteers were selected for the Elite fluid stops along the course, and during that half marathon championship, we tested how we would operate on the actual Trials day. It was great fun and since the likes of Ryan Hall etc. were actually running in the half marathon championships we actually had real elite fluid containers to 'practice' with. If you want to read more about all of that, I have it under the Label: USATF and possibly the label: Half marathon championships (sometimes I forget to set a Label to a post).
Anyway with the change in the route, where I was last year was not where I would be this year. And my 'job' had changed which I was perfectly ok with!
Instead of actually standing behind a fluid table, I worked hospitality for that particular site of tables/volunteers.
What this meant is that my alarm went off at 4am as I had to be at a certain locationby 5am to load my vehicle up with enough breakfast tacos, coffee, orange juice and bananas to satisfy 100 volunteers.
With Memorial Drive due to shut down at 5:30am this shouldn't have been an issue, but since SBux wasn't ready with the LARGE carafes of coffee, we had to wait and thats where I was ever so thankful for this little baby:
"Let her through! She's got a red tag!!"
Yes indeed I had that All Access pass and thank the baby Jesus too! Because getting all of that food/drink to the site downtown (our set up was at the 3/11/19 mile mark of the route) would have been mucho difficult.
As it was, only one police officer in DT pawned me off to the officer at the next block, not really caring that I had All Access or not :O)
Let me tell you one thing: they had downtown locked down and locked down early.
It was nice just to roll up and unload all the goodies and the volunteers were so thankful it being cold (low 30's) and windy.
What was also nice about our station is that it was mostly BCRR folks, and we were lucky to have not one but TWO heaters for warmth. That is if you werent working an actual table. Once I was done unloading and parking, I pretty much stood around, talked to cute fireman, stayed warm and watched the Trials unfold right in front of my eyes.
|Hospitality Tent (my work station for the day)|
|The porta cans were just a bit down under Memorial along Bagby, and as MK and I were going there, there were times were just lone runners would be running down the middle of the street...|
|The elite fluid stop was also right along Bagby as well (there was a turn here so the Red Station was split along 2 diff roads), and the Occupy Houston area is here, so I took a picture on our way back to our station|
|Elite fluids have arrived!!!|
|Pre-Race - MK - Poor thing she froze the entire time and even spent too much time in front of the heaters which resulted in very red/chapped thighs.|
And speaking of my man!!! This was taken on the 2nd pass I think...
|Meb! Meb! Meb!|
Some shots I am posting are just random and of no one in particular. I took so many pictures I just kind of randomly selected.
|Lead pack women...first pass. Deena! Deena! Desi! Desi!!!|
Oh how I wish Desi could have pulled out beating Shalane. Those 2 are great tho, and probably our best chance in London thats for sure!
|Random women pack|
|After the men had passed by for the 3rd time, I took the opportunity to head down to the PoP and snapped this random photo. The guy was painted up in front but he turned right as I was snapping the photo.|
|Watching them change the sign from 11 to 19 while I was waiting in PoP line|
|One of our heaters and John was using the top of it as a warming mechanism for breakfast tacos later in the morning :)|
|Yours truly...long before the race had started...|
I also have video, some that video'd great and then a couple of them are 'rotated' and I haven't had the time or energy to spend on fixing them (not like with pictures where you obviously have the little rotate button! grrr!) ... Anyway, I will post video soon as well! I know the first pass of the Elite men and then the Elite women came out right, so those will get posted first.
Overall basic thoughts:
- Glad about Flanagan and Davila. Both strong runners and capable of something in London. Surprised that KG made 3rd to be honest; thought she'd choke harder than she did, but kudos to her. Hope she can get it together for London but I'm not holding my breath. She and her husband are whiny butts and I personally think she should have stayed at the 10000m
- Davila is my favorite, and I know that it wasnt about 1, 2, 3, but I still wish she would have beat Shalane. Like Shalane, I just like Desi a whole lot more!
- So so so happy Meb crushed Hall. Another over-rated long distance runner in my opinion, and in my mind Meb can do no wrong.
- Devastated that Ritz was 4th and I think had he had 800m more he could have caught Abdi. That whole having issues taking off that long sleeve shirt was a nightmare for him and I couldnt believe my eyes as I was watching it. Who the hell wears a long sleeve shirt to a marathon where the temps were as warm as they were???? ugh!!!
- We should not be sending Abdi to London. I think Ritz is the better runner and we have a better shot, but guess nothing we can do about it now