Once again, I found myself downtown for the Portland Marathon. My mom-in-law decided, after completing the Eugene half marathon last May, that she'd like to run/walk the Portland Marathon. She convinced my husband to join her and she diligently trained for this competition.
This is the 3rd year in a row that I've helped friends and/or family with the marathon. There is something so exciting about being downtown in the early morning with thousands of people preparing to race. The energy is contagious and for one split second, at the start of the race, I was sad that I wasn't joining my mom-in-law.
That moment quickly passed as I made my way down to Naito Parkway and saw runners already looping back to downtown knowing they still had about 20 miles to go. It was great to cheer people on; I loved seeing all the signs of support.
I was able to see my mom-in-law and husband pass by when I was on the Hawthorne bridge making my way back to my car. Since they were run/walking the race, I had time to return home and get a couple hours of precious sleep while they raced.
I met my sis-in-law and her kids on my way back downtown. My mom-in-law was using her RunKeeper app during the race and I had the luxury of watching her progress in real time. This made the marathon much easier on us, spectators. We could gauge how quickly we needed to be at the finish line. Once there, we didn't have to be watching the finish line intently hoping we didn't miss them crossing. I knew exactly when they would be turning onto 3rd Ave about 4 blocks from the finish line. This gave us the freedom to hang out with the kids and I even took some self-portraits.
I was a bit worried knowing that the Occupy Portland folks were camped right at the finish line. They had come to an agreement with the city and marathon organizers. I really appreciated the cooperation on everyone part. I'm glad that folks, like my mom-in-law, who had trained and prepared for almost a year didn't have any problems on race day.
Here is my mom-in-law receiving her medal for finishing the race. I'm so proud of her! She worked so hard to achieve this goal and I know it's something that I could never do. Her dedication to racing is what has motivated me to complete the Eugene Half last May and I'm already signed up for the Rock and Roll Half next May. She is such a huge inspiration to me.