6'0 tall, former athlete, mother of 3, struggling to keep up on the RUN of daily life.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Portland Marathon CHEER Report

I knew I would be in class the days leading up to the Portland Marathon. I opted not to run the Marathon because I was very burnt out after my 3 Marathons in May/June, not ready to hop back into a 16 week training cycle. I went back and forth, even tried to get into Portland at the last minute... but it was not to be.. I knew so many FRIENDS running that spectating was the best option.

My class ran late but my buddy Bloggers saved me a seat. Thanks to Stacie HERE for making the reservation.. I had a TINY portion of Mushroom Ravioli as Jill and I stared at the Map to make a plan..
They were all cute, I was dressed for ALL DAY in class.
Thanks to the Hubbies, including Track Coach HERE, for snapping the photos.
Harmony, Blonde Pony, Me, Jill, Amanda, Tressa, & Stacie

We loved the banners along the roads so we had to POSE.. I sent Jill home with the MAP. Her Mom lives in Portland and has for years, so I was HOPING that she could come up with a good plan. We hoped to use public transportation and get to a few spots along the course. Race morning we scrapped the plan and took the Tall Jeep around town.
Me and Jill a little TIRED before the coffee, headed to mile 4ish. Read Jill's Spectator Report HERE. To start the day Jilly forgot the Map and was locked out, THANKFULLY she rocks and knew right where to go. I drove, hmmmm I sorta suck at driving, parallel parking and doing anything out of the norm in a car.
  • NOTE: As a spectator if you see barricades and flashing lights you are near the race course :)
We went a bit too far and were blocked, I had to travel the WRONG WAY ON A ONE WAY ROAD....and there was a Police Car coming my way.. GULP!! We parked, hid, then sprinted up the stairs...just in time.. Apologies for blurry photos, it is hard to hold an umbrella and take pictures with a phone..
  • NOTE: As a spectator bring a good camera with sports Mode. May not be practical during inclement weather or if you will have to run.
We planted ourselves at the intersection of mile 1ish and 4ish, will AWESOME soggy runners going both directions.

I wore an outfit I could run in and that I thought people would spot easily.

  • NOTE: As a spectator dress comfortably, and in bright easy to locate colors, also try to warn your athletes to which mile markers you will be located.

My pictures are a bit mixed up....oops...

Amanda HERE, Jill spotted her first. She looked great, happy and not too soaked. See you at mile 12!!

Janna Rockin it out in her Fleet Feet Yellow.
See the puddles, I was FIXATED on the puddles. I wanted to stand in the puddle so no one would suffer the splashy soppy sneaker fate.. Guess it was the Mom in me. I kept yelling "Watch out for the puddle."
After Amanda we had to get back to get the Map and head to mile 12ish. I kindly asked Jill to Drive, she quickly agreed that would be best..
  • NOTE: When spectating have the best driver, parker, and person who knows the area drive, it will save time and anxiety.
Mile 12 was my FAVORITE!! First reason is we got Coffee, I love love Coffee!!
  • NOTE: When spectating Eat and Drink, don't forget that you will be on your feet for 4-6 hours and in order to be the BEST CHEERING SECTION you can be, you need to have energy!!
We also found the PERFECT spot on an angle, easy to see everyone. We were next to a Man with 2 older kids waiting to watch their Mom is her First Marathon.. He was funny he kept yelling "The Sun is out on the other side of the river!" Which was a total lie, but it made people smile. Jill has AMAZING vision, she was reading names off the bibs and yelling for so many people.. We are equal opportunity cheerers, we yelled for everyone. I like to compliment people on their outfits. We saw a lady with a purple tutu wearing purple vibrams, a guy from my class TOTALLY BAREFOOT, and a woman wearing Crocs!?!?! Janna zoomed by us totally in her music zone..
Then we spotted Sarah from Run Like a Mother HERE I have had the pleasure to meet Sarah a few times...I even texted her the night before the race. She was running her town on the HUNT for a BQ. She posed for us, but my camera was too slow.
We waited for Amanda and were getting worried... With reason, here came our friend.. "Do I turn Here?" she jokingly said as she walked up. Utterly defeated, tired, yucky stomach, it was dire. I said "Do you want to get in the car with us?" FYI I knew she wouldn't, but I wanted to remind her of her options. She said "No, I can finish, it just won't be pretty." I wanted to run with her then, but I also respected the Race Director and did not want to leave Jill solo. We said we would see her again at Mile 18. "Anything you want us to bring you?" "A Casket!!" Uh oh!!
Off she went and off we went to the MAP. On our way to the car a group of ladies said "How do you know everyone?" Jill smiled and replied "Their names are on their bibs. Runners really like it when you cheer for them by name."
  • NOTE: when spectating make sure that you have a good Map, GPS, and a knowledge of the main roads that intersect with the course. There will generally be parking, as people will filter in and out of spots as the time passes.
Together we made our way across the city, calculating how long we had to make it there in time. Mile 18 was much different than Mile 12. It was COLD!! I kept reminding myself that the runners were much colder and avoided complaining. I did the Mom holding baby shuffle to stay warm. The runners were pretty haggard, a woman stopped and looked hypothermic, Jill went to talk to her. it was SAD! I loved the bibs "Go Cowhide," "Nice work Lisa," "Keep it up Molaradun!?!?!" Hehehe it was fun. I shared my umbrella with a fellow spectator.
Julie HERE was ROCKING it out! So fast and so strong. We were lucky to spot her at every stop.
And Janna, AKA Lioness, posing for us. She looked GREAT and cruised to her 3rd sub 4 Hour Marathon in 6 months..
Sarah, a vision in Purple, ready to RUN LIKE A MOTHER to the finish. We about gave Amanda a heart attack and I dropped my umbrella to run with her. I had a bib given to me by an injured runner, so I was legit on the Course. I talked Amanda through the next 2 miles, trying to keep positive, have her check in with her body and see if there was anything she needed from us. She was thirsty...but was much better than mile 12. I had no idea that this would be how I would say Goodbye to my friend :(
Not knowing the course I was fearful to continue, plus Jill was waiting and I did not want to leave her solo. Amanda was STRONG and I knew she would Finish.
Jill and I helped people OVER THE WALL!! Next up?? Finding our way to the Finish.
  • NOTE: As a spectator try to park as close to the Finish as you can so you don't miss any of your friends.
We had no clue what parking would be like so we parked at the first spot we saw and jogged to the Finish Line. It was a LONG way, OOPs!! We missed Janna and Sarah Finishing.. Then settled in to a spot along the wall. The Finish area at Portland is very cramped and not well Organized..
We spotted Julie, Harmony, and finally Amanda with Red.. YIPPEE!!
We headed to the Family Reunion area where we saw Harmony, Blonde Pony and Family and congratulated them on their finish!! We hung with Track coach and Adorable wife and WAITED and WAITED.. No Amanda :( Jill realized that our parking was almost up...URGH we would miss Stacie HERE also.. UGH!! We had to get back, we did the best we could..
It was a LONG LONG day but worth every minute..I kept reminding myself that the Marathon runners in the rain were having a tough tough day, puts it in perspective. Jill was a blast, awesome driver and super CHEERLEADER. I am so pleased that we were able to be out there and in our own SMALL way help folks to smile, feel special and forget they were running 26.2 in the POURING RAIN!
  • NOTE: If you have never Spectated a Race GO DO IT!!! Yell with all your might for everyone, take pictures, and HAVE FUN!



Anonymous said...

yay for spectating! awesome recap and great pictures :)


Hey! Don't beat yourself up about not being able to navigate Portland or for driving in circles in T-Town ... oh, wait. Maybe you aren't THAT great with direction. Perhaps we could all go in and get you a GPS for Christmas! ;)

p.s. feel free to come spectate Indy this weekend!

Nike Athena said...

The bibs were awesome! I'm sure it was like that last year, but I definitely capitalized on it this year. I felt so bad for all the runners it was nice to be able to cheer for them by name. I love your notes!

Marlene said...

LOL at driving... don't be so hard on yourself!!! I'd be the same, especially in a city where I don't drive often.

Sounds like a great day out there despite the weather. You and Jill rock for being such great cheerleaders! The runners were lucky to have you.

And you always look cute!

Emily said...

You are such a rock star cheerleader! Please come spectate my next marathon?? I do not blame you for trying to register- I'm getting race envy just reading all of the chicago/portland race reports from this weekend.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

That sounds like a GREAT way to spend the day. A little like giving back to the great sport of running and encouraging your friends and a few others along their way. Nothing beats giving!!

Unknown said...

You two were awesome spectators in the rain! Way to get around town, so ambitious!

track coach and adorable wife said...

You guys were awesome speerleaders! (Spectating cheerleaders incase you don't know the cool lingo that I make up!) I was glad to see you and it was great you could help Amanda out so much!

No Longer Using said...

lol. i laughed at the part you were on "puddle patrol" :) ahhhh rainy marathons!!!!!! i love your spirit!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Spectators rock. Spectators who read names off bibs REALLY rock. Spectators who come out in the pouring rain and read names off bibs are superstars.

Meredith said...

Um, kinda glad your pics came out blurry too! Made me feel like I wasn't so terrible for not getting mine in focus!! Blame it on the rain, right? Love that you guys got to so many stops!

Cynthia said...

Awesome recap! Great to hear the spectators side of a race!

Kathy said...

I saw you at Mile 18! So nice of you guys to come out to cheer people on in the POURING RAIN! I had my name on my bib and it was soooo amazing to have so many people yell good job to me personally - it really gave me a lift. The spectators in PDX are the best...

Bethany + Ryan said...

wow, such a thorough recap!! i feel like i was there!! great pics and great job supporting all those runners! i'm sure they really appreciated it!!
i think i'm going to post my bib # in your honor today!

Unknown said...

I'm officially calling you the spectating runner genies!! You guys seemed to just 'appear' everywhere!! Thank you for toughing it out in the pouring rain for all of us and for making me smile!! You both were the BEST. Thanks again.

kimert said...

Great race recap from the sidelines! Love the pics!
Speaking of Run Like a Mother...I'm giving that book away on my blog. ;)

Jodi H said...

Don't feel bad about getting lost. I seriously have no sense of direction at all. In fact, my 1/2 marathon crazy friends (you know the ones-myself included- that are trying to run a 1/2 in all 50 states) will not let me drive on any of our adventures. Needless to say I won't be driving us to Detroit this weekend!

Great spectator recap! I felt like I was there watching it with you!!

ashleys said...

You guys are so awesome to have cheered everyone on in that weather. Wish Julie & I could have made the dinner! Next time around!

Unknown said...

yay for being a spectator. i'm planning to do that this weekend :-)

racing dawn said...

So fun to know so many people racing! Being a spectator is fun - I always cry watching all the people coming across the finish line - even when I don't know em...

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

Mel, I have been following your blog for quite some time and enjoyed meeting you in person! I don't have a blog yet, but I'm thinking it should be something along the lines of "Blonde Pony"! Have a great week!

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

Mel, I have been following your blog for quite some time and truly enjoyed meeting you in person!! Thanks for being a great supportr during a really wet marathon!! Looking forward to reading many more blog entries!!
--Jess a.k.a "Blonde Pony"