One more Team in Training event has ended. We had our local TNT event this past weekend and it was a big success. We had over one hundred participates taking part in the Bayshore ½ and full marathon.
Now typically my duties at this event are to be in the spots on the course where I can use my humor and pleasing personality to distract the runners from their misery and pain!
Well this year, I was the full marathon sweeper. If you don’t know what a sweeper is, that’s because you run too fast to be the last person in a race. That’s right, the person just before the police car at the end. It’s the sweeper’s job to ensure that the last person is on pace to finish before they close the course.
Fortunately I didn’t start the race with the participants that would bring up the read, so I was able to see everyone as they dashed past me in both directions. This was an out and back course. I saw most of my team as they were still in a state of semi-freshness wearing their early mile smiles.
So while waiting to perform my official duties, I was able to chat and cheer for everyone that passed my way. As the clock ticked away and the hordes of cheering spectators diminished, I was the sole cheering section for the back-of-the-pack runners. I actually held conversations with a few of them while we shuffled along. One gentleman had lost sixty pounds to be able to run the marathon, he was down to 327 lbs! Another guy was down to 185 lbs but he was only five feet tall.
I met the last two TNT participants at mile 16 and they were walking, which wasn’t a total surprise since I had seen them at mile 11 and they were walking. The goal for them was to finish in six hours but they had encountered some issues along the way and that goal was fading as fast as the temps were rising. Now I’m not a fast walker by any means, so for me to keep up with these ladies meant I would be jogging and walking. We knew from our watches that a lot of the volunteers would be long gone and the fluid stations would be self-serve but that didn’t deter these ladies one bit! I normally have an abundance of things to talk about during a run but 10 miles of walking would get close to exhausting my entire repertoire of tales and advice.
Fast forward nine miles and a exhausted marathon sweeper. My feet are burning and my shins are screaming at me. Now I remember why I run, this is hard! We even had more coaches come out to greet us.
Even though we didn’t make the ‘official’ finish time our final participants were welcomed with open arms at the finish line.
Notice the time in the lower left corner and yes they're carrying a BEvERage!
17 hours ago