DSSECRETS & I had an opportunity to meet and support SPENDERELLA61 (MARSHA) & ONEKIDSMOM (BARBARA) at the 2012 Lady Speed Stick Half Marathon in St Petersburg, Florida! We seized the day 'cause we are committed to our SparkFamily!
Due to our own race schedules and an slightly inflamed Achilles, we couldn't run this HM but will next year! (We have the Turkey Trot this Thursday then the Space Coast half next Sunday!) I did find out our SparkFriends were doing this Half so D & I decided to support them in real time!
D & I were up at 4:30am today as we wanted to make sure to meet at Corral 4 to give all the positive waves we could to Marsha & Barb!
What better time to shake the pre-race jitters than to seize the photo op in the Corral! (I was the one nervous! These ladies were ready to own this Half!)
We said good luck, cleared the Corral area, and gave the ladies time to focus.
It was ten minutes to race time!
And they're off!
D & I did a bit of speed walking to get to the .5 mile point just in time to catch a blur of Barb followed by Marsha!
At this point, we wouldn't see them until they returned, passing the 7 mile marker. Earlier, D & I heard music. I thought it was a band. D thought, with all the instruments heard, it had to be a DJ!
The Bass Guitarist loved that I came over & shot the photo!
These guys were so good & focused on keeping the runners involved as they came by!
We found an opportunity to get breakfast then came back just in time to catch "Team Spark" again. More than halfway finished, with smiles on the faces, they were looking strong!
They turned by the band and headed to towards The Pier, a landmark in St Pete! They would do a U-Turn and pass us again!
I caught Barb...
but missed a shot of Marsha. I ran ahead of them to get some distance and was able to shoot another good shot of our happy runners!
At this point, we knew they would go to Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays! (They actually went into the dome and ran on the field turf!) We headed to the finish line to wait for their triumphant return!
I found the 13 Mile marker with the race clock on it and was compelled to shoot it!
When we got back, D went to scope the post-race infield area. I hung at the finish, cheering runners in.
To my surprise, I saw a friend I had run with the week before. She had Achilles surgery last year, and gave me advice on the care of my recovering Achilles. I shouted out just before she crossed, she gave me a smile, and then put on her determined look as she finished out!
I also caught this runner on her way to The Pier! Everyone cheered for her as she came to the finish with the flag she had carried during the entire half!
I get emotional at the finish line!
Then I saw Marsha & Barb coming to the finish!
The woman in the rainbow tutu was the finish line Mistress of Ceremonies, callin out runner names and encouraging runners to the finish!
Seconds after they crossed the finish, Barb & Marsha struck a pose for me!
It was so cool to have our Nation's Heroes present the finisher's medals, first to Marsha with Barb ready to receive hers! Priceless!
Well done, Ladies! D & I thank you for sharing the experience. It was a truly blessed Sunday morning!