Saturday, October 28, 2006
I had been looking forward to last weekend for four months. I had been training with a Team in Training (TNT) group to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The weekend finally came and it was amazing. To get there, I raised $4,400! Out of the 15,000 participants, there were 4,500 TNT participants. Together we raised $16,000,000!!! It was so much to meet people from chapters all over North America.
We arrived on Friday, dropped off our stuff and headed for Union Square. Union Square held the Expo, where we picked up our packet. I shopped in Niketown for a little while and then we headed to Fisherman's Wharf from some grub. We dined at Wipeout, walked along the dock, saw Alcatraz from afar, then headed to Ghiradelli square to sample some AMAZING chocolate. We then hiked it back to our hotel...well, we got about half-way there and found a cab to take us the rest of the way. We had to save our legs for Sunday afterall...
Saturday was very low-key. I spent a fair amount of the day alone, touring the city on foot, but I enjoyed being able to stop where I wanted to stop and not feel rushed to accommodate the desires of others. I spent more time in Union Square and toured a bit of Chinatown.
As a team we walked over to the Pasta Party. As we walked up to the convention center, coaches, captains, TNT Staff...tons of people...were cheering us into the building. They call it the red carpet and it was awesome...I got a tad teary. At the pasta party we heard from a man who lost is wife in September. He shared his faith and his passion for finding a cure. There were very few dry eyes in the house.
Then came RACE DAY!! I woke up numerous times before it was finally 5:15 am! I was just too excited! It was a cool and dark start, which is the best way to start a race. There were so many people along the way cheering us on. People sang to us; cheered for us; hit on us...it was a blast. I ran with one of our captains, Marissa, for the first six miles and then I went on my own. It was great though, with the different houses and landscaping along the way, I was far from bored.
As I approached the finish line I saw them. The San Francisco firemen in their tuxedos holding Tiffany blue boxes with necklaces in them for every finisher! I was so excited. I stopped to take their picture and one of them was so struck by my 13.1 mile beauty that he fell to his knee to give me my box! ;-) I couldn't open it right away because that would mean that it was over and just didn't want it to be over yet.
I cheered on my teammates and then headed back to the hotel to get ready for the victory party.
It was an amazing weekend and I am looking forward to being a TNT mentor sometime in the future.
For now though, I'm still in training for my San Antonio Marathon in two weeks...yes, a FULL marathon. More to come...