The Beach to Beacon 10k was last Saturday morning, bright and early. Nichole and I excitedly signed up to participate early on, getting bib numbers through the lottery process. We trained pretty hard through April and May, before slacking off a bit in June. Then, in July, I injured my leg and was unable to run for the next month plus. Nichole, however, didn't let that stop her, and she continued to get out and run several days a week, working feverishly to improve her time. As Saturday approached, she was nervous, but ready. I, on the other hand, had given my bib to our friend Nikki.
After spending close to what seemed like an hour on the Casco Bay Bridge attempting to get Nichole and another friend, Heidi, to the starting line in time, we slowly work our way up to Cape Elizabeth High School. We pull up as the last shuttle bus is taking runners to the starting line and the girls are already running! Now, I'm so much like my mother, it's actually kind of scary. I'm instantly nervous for Nichole. I know she will do great, but that is how I operate, I am a generally anxious person when it comes to these sorts of things. Hell, I still get anxious before a co-ed softball or soccer game and I'm 31! Anyways, I drive Kerrigan and I to Fort Williams and we roll up and park way at the back of the lot and find ourselves a spot, with Eric and Grace, close to the finish line where we have a good view of the runners.
Before I go into much more detail about the race itself, I have to tell you, I had no idea how big this was! I mean, I knew that close to 6000 people ran the race, and with that brings a large crowd, but until you see it for yourself, you have no idea how big this really is. There are people lining the streets for the entire duration of the race. They are everywhere. Clapping. Playing music. Handing out water. Cheering complete strangers on. It was something I have never seen before, and to be honest, it was pretty incredible.
Now, back to my dear wife. Wow, not only did she finish the race strong, she beat her personal best by a pretty decent margin. She had been hovering around an hour and a half, but this was with our dog on the back roads of New Gloucester. Apparently it all came together for her Saturday morning, because she finished the race in one hour, fourteen minutes and forty five seconds, far and away her best time, and all with a giant smile on her face! I could feel myself bursting with pride as she ran past our friends and family at the home stretch. I quickly ran up the hill to meet her and give her a big hug. I felt the same way right then as I did the morning Kerrigan scored her first goal in soccer! I like that feeling!
Now Nichole has the running bug, and I think that means I better get it quick! We are discussing running the Trail to Ale 10k next month in Portland. I haven't run in two months, but I'm getting back into it this week and look forward to running in a race myself. I want to quickly congratulate not only Nichole and a job very well done, but also Nikki, Rachel, Heidi and everyone else that ran the race, absolutely great job. I'm just saying...