National Half Marathon Cheering & Meet-up.

Saturday morning started out waaaay too early.  I was up at 4:30am with Casey, getting ready for a morning of chauffeuring and cheering on the runners!  Casey had signed up to run the full many months ago (before all our crazy life changes occurred), but he didn’t really do the proper training for 26.2.  Even though this would be his 7th marathon, I was feeling a little nervous before the race, since I knew he wasn’t feeling his best going into it.

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We dropped the runners off and headed to our first cheering spot for the morning.  We headed back into the Metro to ride over to the Capitol area, and saw tons of runners still flooding to the start.

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My partner in crime for the morning?  None other than the beautiful Caitlin!  She was injured and ended up not running the race either.  I was sad that her knee was hurting, but also happy to have a cheering buddy!

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The two of us had some kick ass neon signs for the runners too, hopefully making us easy to spot!

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Whenever I spectate for a race, I get a little crazy with it.  I always have an official map, time plan, and strategy all planned out for seeing the runners I’m following as many times as possible.  I planned it all out the night before, and we headed to our first spot right before mile three!  Soon after we got there, the runners started flying past.

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We had SO MUCH FUN cheering in this spot!  I couldn’t believe how many people recognized us and waved hello – most fun race spectating ever!  Everyone looked like they were having a blast running.

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And of course we were having a great time cheering.  We met up with Brittney (and old friend from Charlotte!) and Allison who helped us yell and scream.

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A few runners even came over for hugs and high fives!

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Casey ran past looking speedy – so speedy I didn’t even get a picture.  Booooo.  I was so busy trying to get us from one point to another that I didn’t get many pictures of the gorgeous scenery.  It was so beautiful watching the sun come up over the National Mall and Capitol building.

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After an hour of cheering at mile three, we walked about a mile to the corner at mile 10.5 for our next cheering location!

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Right on time, Casey came flying around the corner in his easy-to-spot light blue.

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He ran over to us and I could tell he wasn’t having a fun race.  He told me he was going to go ahead and just run the half (instead of the full).  I was so relieved that he dropped down to the shorter distance!

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Still looking strong, he ran past, and we adjusted the rest of our spectating plan now that we wouldn’t need to go to mile 19 anymore.

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Best part of cheer spot number two?  Allison stopped by her office to grab a box if tissues and a HUGE bag of swedish fish for the runners!  Caitlin and I had way too much fun yelling “Come get candy!  Candy and tissues!  Sweeeeeeedish fish!”  I’m sure the crowd around us got tired of it very quickly, but the runners sure did love it.

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After Casey, we saw speedster Anne P. go flying past!

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Followed by lots of other friends.  We couldn’t stay at this spot quite as long, since we knew that we needed to pick up Casey and Nicole – who were likely already waiting at the finish line. 

Look who I found when I got there!  (Please excuse the giant orange dot – apparently there was orange poster fuzz on my lens, whoops!)

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All the runners did really well, and it was definitely one of the best times I’ve had spectating.  After the race, I drove Casey and our houseguests back home for some much needed lunch, long naps, and showers.  We were all SO exhausted from the early wakeup time.

Eventually we headed back out to Northside Social for a big blogger meetup that I organized for all the folks coming into town (with an extra thanks to Lindsay for suggesting the location!).

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Inside I found old friends like Anne

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And lots of new friends and faces too!

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Evan rocked his first marathon this weekend – huge congrats!

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And my favorite New York girls were there too!

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A great night with well over 50+ bloggers there!  I was so glad the meetup was a success.

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We wrapped up our night with Indian food and hilarious conversation, and I crashed HARD in bed the minute I got home.  It was SUCH a fun weekend, and it was so nice to have Caitlin and Nicole staying at our house – felt like a girls weekend that I haven’t had in way too long.

I love races, and I can’t wait to get back into it next year with Casey and the baby cheering for ME on the sidelines.  :)