My training had not been as smooth as the previous year. My legs ached and my ankles bled. I ran in either snow or in rain. There was no sunshine from January through mid-May. To say I had no great expectations for my second 1/2 marathon would be an understatement. I knew I would be lucky to have the same time as last year. A few days before race day, high on delicious Asiago Chicken Penne and rested from shortened runs, I decided I would just enjoy my city.
Lucky for me, I had trained in the rain. There was a light drizzle that Sunday morning, more like a mist. The temperature was cooler and perfect to warm up in. The start was uneventful. We took to a highway next to the lake but the mist was so thick the lake was hidden from us. All around me, people were commenting that while we don't have a glorious view and the weather is not picturesque, this was our city and that's why they were running. I agreed whole-heartedly.
We were rewarded as we ran west into the neighboring suburbs. There were spectators out! They held their umbrellas and huddled together tightly, but they were there holding handmade signs, ringing cowbells, cheering and clapping. It was beautiful. The misting rain showered us all with feelings of pride. This is our city.
There was one man sitting in a lawn chair in his front yard, no umbrella and no coat. He shouted the same thing, again and again: "Good job runners! Tremont loves you!" My friend who walked the 1/2 marathon and finished almost two hours after me said that while many folks had returned to warm cars and hot showers, that man was still sitting there shouting when she walked past. "Good job runners! Tremont loves you!"
That man makes it so easy to enjoy my city. We had a beautiful race.