This is the story of one girl’s quest to find a new happily ever after a half marathon.
Well, the first half of the story anyway…
Once upon a time there was a young girl with princess toes. This particular princess-toed girl, called Bethtober, was a runner. Since she began running in 2009, she completed three half marathons and her first full marathon, in addition to a couple of other races of miscellaneous distances. As 2011 began, she was eager to face new challenges and like her Dadtober, she believes most things come in threes…and if they don’t, they should. So naturally, she set three goals for her running for the coming year:
1) Run another marathon
2) Run 2011 miles in 2011
3) Run a half marathon in under two hours
After multiple nights involving wine drinking, random spurts of inspiration and daydreaming about being a part of the Tarahumara and the story told in Born to Run, she found herself registered for three different half marathons for 2011; yes, three. The first of which was quickly approaching.
On Sunday morning, all three of Bethtober’s alarms went off around 6 AM as had been previously set, checked and rechecked the night before. It didn’t matter though, as was the case most mornings before a race, Bethtober was already awake and getting started with her ritual: use the bathroom, get coffee, go to the ladies room again, get dressed, hit up the lavatory, confirm race start point, back to the toilet, eat a small breakfast and drink a Chia Fresca, make use of the restroom a final time, double check gear and finally, empty bladder one last time. It’s exhausting really.
This particular morning was unusually warm for February and Bethtober had agreed to give her fiancé, The Chef, a morning off from drop-off duty so she was making her way on foot. The race start point was only about a mile away from her home but she thought if any buses happened to pass by on her walk there, she’d save her legs and hitch a ride. No such luck. Buses apparently don’t run as frequently Sunday mornings at 7 AM, so Bethtober walked the distance to the race start area.
Having run this same race last year, Bethtober knew exactly where the Porta-Potties were located and with about 30 minutes before “go-time”, she ensured a smooth 13.1 miles by peeing one last time.
The race “pumper-upper” was yelling things into a microphone, mostly about sponsors and directors, their Kaiser-affiliated wives and pre-race warm-up stretches. Bethtober was in the zone so her ears didn’t perk up until football was mentioned; it was Super Bowl day after all. GO STEELERS!
The man with the microphone tried to get the crowd going…
“Who’s ready for the Super Bowl?”
“Let’s hear it for the Packers!” – “WOOOOOOOOO” the whole crowd erupted with screams and cheers displaying their newly found bandwagon appreciation for the supposed underdogs who would be led by their Chico-born, CAL-affiliated quarterback. (Even that sentence tastes bitter huh?!…It is.)
“Let’s hear it for the Steelers!” – “WOOOOOOOOO” the princess-toed Bethtober seemed to emit the only audible sounds on this one!
8 AM came and went but the man with the microphone assured the crowd the race would be under way just as soon as the SFPD provided the necessary clearance.
Bethtober was anxiously checking in with Gus to see how long this thing was going to take to get started!
…then, the race gun went off!
The race gun in this instance was the sound of a SF trolley which is much less dramatic but initiates the same response.
It was time to run!