Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Here's a great shot of the number of people running. Thankfully, I was near the front of this pack, and was able to run freely after the first few hundred yards.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The 1 Million Dollar Race is Done!

I went to bed Saturday night about 10:30 to the sound of thunder and lightening passing through the area. News reports weren't much help, alternating between dry but cloudy morning and showers for the rest of the day. So, I prepared myself that I could be waiting an hour in the rain before getting to the starting line.
I woke Sunday morning to wet ground, but nothing coming from the sky. I headed down to the launch point just after 7:00, parking in Auburn and walking across the river to the meeting point. I figured I was there to run, what was another 1/4 mile walk?
I ditched my jacket behind a tent for people registering, and hoped for the best (it was still there after the race).
We were standing around, waiting for the cyclists to take off, and I was noticing people who had other signs on their shirts in addition to their numbers. Some said "Survivor", and some "Care Giver" and others "In honor of". When we were informed that we were under a 30 minute delay, I set off to the registration table, and found the signs. I initially created one in honor of Katie and pinned it to my shirt. But, as I stood there waiting to take off, I got thinking of all the other people in my life who have had cancer. So, it was back off to the registration table for a different sign. This one included:
  • Katie O.J.
  • Grandma H.
  • Grandpa J.
  • Wendall B.
  • Ben G.
  • Kate G.
  • Sally E.
  • Pat J.
(Apologies to those who I forgot)
Before we took off it was time for the national anthem, which had me nearly in tears. Not because of any patriotic feelings, but it made the race that much more poignant. Katie has been on my mind frequently with training for this race, and the day was finally here. It continues to be not real that she is gone.
After the national anthem, it was time to take off. It took a bit for the cyclists to take off, and then it was the runner's chance. We poured into the channel, tightly packed. I positioned myself 20-30 yards from the front of the pack. Far enough to be behind the good runners racing for times (the 5 minute milers), and far enough up front not to be stuck be hind baby strollers and those walking the course).
After the actual start, there were a lot of heads going up and down as though they were running, but few people actually running due to the tightness of the pack. It opened up quickly as we rounded the first corner and had two lanes all to ourselves.
The run itself was a good course, a few hills, mostly on the road, but a stretch through a park, and another on a path running behind the high school.
It was great to look back on the long straightaways and see the crowd of people participating.
Shortly before the finish line is a pedestrian bridge which was an old rail road bridge which leads into the park. I stepped up my pace there, knowing the finish wasn't much further. As I headed into the final chute, shortly before the finish line was Carmel and the boys, grinning and cheering.
It was a great feeling to finish the race. The rest of the morning we stayed around and checked out some of the many tents and watched some of the events which were in the park. There was a great area for kids, two bouncy castles and an inflatable obstacle course which D. just loved. To top it all off, we made a tool box courtesy of Home Depot. (Daddy went back for his lobster dinner after the boys went down for their nap.)

Thank you everyone for your generous support. It has been a great experience, and an honor to run for Katie and all those who we know who have or had cancer. Thanks again and see you next year.

(And......yes, I did see Patrick Dempsey.)

See below for some news clips of the race.

And some footage from Channel 8 (who won't let me embed the video)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Last Training Run Before the Race

Well, it's nearly here. I finished my last training run this morning before the race Sunday. It was a cold, dark morning. Some of the coldest temperatures we've experienced yet this fall. I'm surely a novice. I'm sure that experienced runners have shirts with sleeves, gloves, hats, and maybe even a proper running jacket. My options were a running shirt or the shirt and the mangy old blue fleece that I wear everywhere. I opted for the latter, knowing with in a short distance that it would likely be too much, and I wasn't wrong. By the time I reached the end of our street, the sweat had started, but the hands were frozen and I was thankful for the sleeves to pull my hands into (but again within minutes, they were sweaty and spent the rest of the run out in the cold.

Overall it felt like a decent run, not as strong as I wanted, but still felt good. I'm sure there'll be a shot of adrenaline on the morning of the race along with my morning coffee.

All that's left now is packet pick-up (get your number and stuff) either tonight or tomorrow, and then it's off to the race. According to the website, they've reached their maximum of 3500 participants. It should be a great day. I'm anxious to hear how much people have raise. They have the top teams with the top 4 currently all over $10K, with the top team at nearly $20K, while the top 5 individuals are each over $5K.

Thank you for your support and roll on October 4!

Thank you for your support. Click here to Donate via the Dempsey Challenge website

Monday, September 28, 2009

Less than a week

Thank you to everyone who has been donating to my race, though not reflected in the on line total, I've reached by $500 goal (though that shouldn't prevent people from continuing to donate, there's nothing wrong with exceeding it).

People not listed on line are Carla and Thurber, Carol and Terry and Rita & Keith and family.
Thank you everyone.

Less than a week to go and my training has been okay. I've got a flash new shirt and have been sticking to my training schedule for the most part. As I run every other day, I thought I was being clever last weekend when I skipped my Saturday training (and not because it was my b-day), but because I mis-calculated that the race was on Saturday and I thought I'd get on the schedule so it would fall on a training day. Eg. Sun- Tues- Thurs- Race Saturday. As it stands, I realized my error on Sunday, and got my run in then, and again this am to get back on track.

I hope the race day is nice and cool autumn day (with sun because of the variety of events happening that day). I ran in the cold rain the other day and it was amazing. I didn't feel hot during my run, and had a great run. As opposed to this am, where it was warm and humid, and my legs felt like lead the whole time, though I got my mileage in.

Thank you for your support. Click here to Donate via the Dempsey Challenge website

Friday is LIVESTRONG Day

Friday October 2 is Livestrong day. Supported by Lance Armstrong's Livestrong foundation

Find events in your area! There are only a few events in Maine, but you can show your support by wearing yellow on Friday.

Thank you for your support. Click here to Donate via the Dempsey Challenge website