What a weekend! To be surrounded by lots of people ready to roll was inspiring.
Hubby was the smart one (usually is) and decided earlier last week that we were getting a hotel for not just one night but two. Smart decision. We arrived in Mannheim Friday night. Checked in and went for some carb loading. Hubby had lasagne and I had spaghetti with garlic, peppers, and olive oil. Great relaxing meal.
We slept in on Saturday morning (7 am). Then we went to get bibs and to take a stroll around familiar territory.
Here is the starting line hours before the fun began. The slogan for the race is Run with the Stars. Luckily, I was finished before they came up!
Here is one of the beautiful landmarks of the city of Mannheim.
As you can see the fest tables were already set up for the evening.
After a couple of hours walking around, we took a break and hydrated.
I really love the iced hibiscus tea. The rest of the day it was water. As we were enjoying our drinks, we started talking about the city. I mentioned that in our entire married life that we lived/worked in the Mannheim area longer than we have anywhere else. Amazing.
This race is special to me because this was the sight of my first half marathon. I knew this time the race would be vastly different. I was excited about how far I have come from that first milestone.
We went back to the hotel room to rest until race time.
See, ready to go.
The race started at 7 pm. We were tired of waiting in our room so we decided to go down to the lobby.
Just kicking back!
We ran this race with some dear friends. It was great to see them and experience this with them.
Now the race…
There were a lot of people. The start of any race is slow and people are fighting for position. I do not think I found my stride until mile three. I usually have a better first half of the race. However, this time the second half was the best. I had a little mishap at the start and needed a couple of miles to work through the results of the mishap.
I love just watching people run. I saw one runner wearing a long nightgown (at least I think it was). I saw another one with some really cool striped compression socks. But what really got me going were the crowds. It was great to see so many people out on a glorious evening cheering on people that they do not even know.
There were some long stretches in this race. Some through a field, some along the streets. Lots of time to sing to my music and to balance my checkbook.
I did not have my watch on. Really loved that! I can honestly say, I had a great time. I crossed the finish line with a huge smile on my face. Mainly, I was happy with my time but mostly because I actually passed four people in the final stretch. That usually never happens. I am just trying to get across the line!
Hubby and friends walked away smiling. That is what it is all about.
My favorite memory will be back in the hotel room after the race where we just sat and talked about our race. Just fabulous!
We all enjoyed our swag.