Can I just say I LOVE THE MARINE CORPS MARATHON!!! Not only is this race the best tour of DC one could get, it is a truly inspirational race. I was lucky enough to get to run with my good friends Chris, a Captain in the US Army who recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan and freshly minted Marathon Maniac and Teota, the mother of Sgt. Brandon Parr who was killed in Baghdad in 2007, to whom which we dedicated our run to.
Running for Brandon. Teota wore her son's hat during the race. It was quite emotional.
Teota and I flew into Washington D.C. on Friday and went straight to my friend Chris's house. He was good enough to put us up for the weekend. When Chris got home from work we all went out for a nice dinner. When the restaurant told us the wait would be 1 1/2 hours, we decided to go down the street to a coffee house to wait, have a beverage and talk. As we walked into the coffee house, we were promptly greeted by a woman who asked us if we were there for the show. We had 1 1/2 hours to kill, so why not take in a show? Chris whipped out his credit card and we were led to the back room of the coffee house for the most surreal "show" any of us have ever seen (I will spare you the details)! Luckily, we got the call that our table was ready, and we left, laughing hysterically at what we had just seen. We had a great dinner and headed back to the house.
Saturday morning we got up and headed to the expo. It was super busy, but we had a good time.
Picking up my bib!
I joined a band of Marines! Hee Hee!
Teota and I with Joe from "The Marathon Show"!
Chris picking up his bib!
After we left the expo, we went shopping for enough food to last us through super storm Sandy and headed back to the house to relax before heading to dinner with our Maniac friends from Florida.
Dinner was awesome! We all gathered together at the Hyatt to celebrate our friend Mary Lenari's 100th marathon!
Mary talks about her journey to 100 marathons!
Utah Maniacs showing Mary some love!
Me, Maricar, Teresa and Teota at dinner!
After dinner we took a stroll through the new MLK monument. It is breathtaking at night.
When we got back to the house, we got ready for race morning and hit the hay!
Flat Teota, Chris and Angie ready for race morning!
We got up fully expecting to be running through Hurricane Sandy so we made sure we had rain gear and plenty of warm clothes for the finish, but as we left the weather was cool, but not cold and it was not raining.
As we arrived we went through all the checkpoints then made our way to the port-a-potties. We had to meet the Maniacs at the pre-selected location by 7:30am for the group photo. I was almost late last time I ran MCM and didn't want to be late as I was holding the balloon in which I suggested we all meet under and the 100 buttons with Teota's son's photo on them for everyone to wear!
This is the button we all wore to remember Teota's son Brandon.
At 7:21am I went to the pre-selected location to see Maniacs already gathered and taking photos! I jumped in and called for Teota and Chris to make sure they were in it too (this was Chris's first Maniac photo and I wanted to make sure he made it in)!
Maniacs at the start!
After the Maniac photo, we headed to the start! There were so many people there! We got to our corral and could feel the excitement! Music was playing and I was dancing up a storm!
Teota, Chris and I on our way to the starting line.
This is why we love MCM! Cute Marines!
Nothing like an MCM flyover!
The start of the Marine Corps Marathon!
When the cannon sounded, we were off! We were running pretty slow. The crowds were difficult to navigate and since we were in no hurry, we just settled in an enjoyed the run!
My sentiments exactly!
The Marine Corps Marathon offers one of the best tours you can get!
Me, in front of the Washington Monument!
Teota and I in front of the US Capitol!
What are the odds of being in Washington, D.C. and running with the President? OK, so it's not the POTUS, but it is the POTMM!!
I ran into so may Maniac friends on the course! The only person I didn't see was my partner in shenanigans, Teresa Baker! She must have been close, but I didn't see her the whole race! :-( Here are just a few out of hundreds!
Joe Taricani from "The Marathon Show""!
Greg Goebel and I!
Patti Krebsbach went flying by!
Teota, Louie Soriano and I!
Elizabeth Trask and I!
Floyd!!!! I met Floyd on the race course at the 2010 MCM!
Dave Bell and Michael Hoyt beating the bridge!
The course is awesome, the spectators are awesome and the Marines are.. well, Marines!! I love to get my hydration from a man in uniform! OORAH!
I was glad I was able to stay with Teota for the whole race as we lost Chris at around mile seven. It was an emotional ride for Teota. as we hit the section of the course dedicated to the fallen Marines, it took a lot out of her. I was glad to be with her during those hard moments.
We "beat the bridge" at mile 20 and from that point on, we just enjoyed ourselves and socialized with the other runners the last few miles. When we hit the mile 26 mark, I knew it was time to "take the hill" to the finish. While the chute was lined with screaming spectators, I was looking for the Marines to shame us up that hill as in years past. When I didn't see them, I thought we were on the wrong hill. Then I saw the finish line. I grabbed Teota's hand and we finished together. Then I saw a hundreds of Marines on the other side of the finish just waiting to congratulate us. We both got quite emotional.
Crossing the finish line!
The greatest part of the MCM, is getting that beautiful medal put around your neck by a handsome Marine with a salute and the two most amazing words "Congratulations Mam"!
Teota receiving her medal.
Teota and I at the finish!
In front of the Iwo Jima Memorial
After we finished, we waited around for my friend Chris to finish. Turns out he was right behind us the whole race, but of course we didn't see him and we ended up waiting over an hour for him to find us. I was kind of glad though because we got to see a few more friends at the finish while we waited (though I did get under the skin of a certain Marine because I kept sitting on the grass and getting caught)!
What was pop sensation Psy and his entourage doing there? Looking for sexy ladies of course! Hee Hee!
Stephanie, Teota, Greg and I modeling our fancy white coats they gave us (no not straight jackets). The back reads "Mission Accomplished!"
Thank goodness we ran into Greg Goebel at the finish! He told us that he had seen Chris earlier by the baggage trucks, so Teota and I put our heads together and between the two of us figured how to get back to the train stop by Chris's house. Once there we sat on the ground like a couple of homeless people and dug into our food boxes while we waited for Chris to arrive (we knew he had to come sometime)!
MCM gave some pretty good food boxes! I have never had hummus in a post race food box before.
It was starting to get really windy and cold, so we were really happy to see Chris when he came down the escalator! He was glad to see us too! We jumped into his truck, headed back to the house, enjoyed a nice hot shower, then grilled up some steaks for the post race/ pre hurricane party that would last until Tuesday since our flight home was canceled due to the hurricane that ripped through with a vengeance on Monday. Hurricane party!!
We had such a fun time at this race! The Marines know how to throw a marathon! Huge thanks to my pal Chris for putting us up and showing us such a tremendous time! If you want to experience the MCM, take a look at this video that Joe from the Marathon Show posted: