What an awesome day. I know that awesome is overused, but honestly, I can’t think of a more appropriate way to describe this November day. My brothers, one of my nephews, and I participated in the OBX half marathon this morning, and from the moment I heard “God Bless America” at the start until I watched my brother Mike and his wife Lisa dance in Big Al’s afterwards, sights and experiences too many to describe took place.
Oh, and one of my second cousins, Emily, also participated in the event. Wait, no, she did more than participate. She ran like the wind. John David, my nephew whizzed by her at some point, and my brothers weren’t too far behind them. Me? I walked along like an automaton, pausing long enough to take some pictures. Of course, I was the last one of my group to cross the finish, but my age (yes, I’ll admit it) and my knees prohibited a faster journey from Nags Head to Manteo. I’m still happy to be able to go the distance without undue stress or strain.
Along the way, I saw some interesting (nice all purpose word) sights. There were women of all ages wearing tutus and colorful skirts, and I thought, “Hmmm, maybe next year for the skirt, not the tutu.” As I reached the top of the bridge leaving Nag’s Head, I passed an older man in a wheelchair giving it all he had. “Yay! Love his indomitable spirit,” I thought. I saw water, water everywhere and took lots of pictures of it. I also saw and appreciated hundreds of people along the way who gave water, Gatorade, and plain old encouragement. The folks who lived in the super nice neighborhoods that we went through came out in full force to cheer us on.
I heard lots of cool things too. For instance, part of the way I listened to Amelia Earhart’s story on my iPhone and learned that she had been tomboy as a child. Walking/jogging for 13.1 miles requires something a little peppier than a book, however, so I also listened to Adele, the Beatles, and various other artists. I also listened to a few hymns, and I found it a bit humorous that Josh Groban’s “The Prayer” was playing when I began that daunting ascent of the bridge. While I don’t really think of that as a hymn, it was quite appropriate for the situation. I also heard lots of snippets of conversation, and among other things, learned about how painful having one’s ACL repaired can be.
But the absolute best part of an experience like today’s was sharing it with other people. I mean, really, who would enjoy moving along for 13.1 miles all by herself just for the heck of it? The other people, all shapes, sizes, ages, colors, and levels of fitness are what added to my “moving” pleasure. Some people were so fast! In fact, when I was on the bridge at about mile 10, the first of the marathoners sped by me. Others were barely putting one foot in front of the other, especially towards the end. But they did. They just kept on keeping on. Some were basically alone like yours truly, and others walked, jogged, and ran with partners.
After I crossed the finish line in Manteo, all eight of us reconvened for some photo ops. Last year our favorite shot was beside a ship with some flags, one American and one pirate. This year, the couple had taken the flags down and were about to move out of the harbor when someone mentioned how much we enjoyed that location and background last year. Generous and gracious, they replaced the flags and invited us to get into the boat for the picture. How nice is that?
After taking several dozen photographs, we went to Big Al’s for lunch. That’s become a tradition. Love those sweet potato fries and the music. Mike and Lisa danced (right on the dance floor), but Chris, Becky, and I confined our dancing to table dancing…or as Chris calls it, “shoulder dancing.” We also sang to a couple of songs on the juke box before going back to Big Bird to rest for a while before walking on the beach and visiting Jeanette’s Pier. What we especially enjoyed was seeing people fishing on the beach and on the pier. I’d describe their attire (including their knee boots and hip boots) and intense concentration, but I’m too tired.
Just wanted to get something up for my brother Mike who asked at several points during the day, “Are you going to blog about this?”