Sunday, December 10, 2006

It Really Is a Wonderful Life

Today I spent the day in Bedford Falls.

But before I get started with that story, run over to Susie's and give her a GIANT congrats for setting a PR on a very challenging course. (And to David, too!) And though Susan and David are the ones who actually did the work (and it was work, believe me, it killed me just looking at the hills), a big shout-out goes to Bex who was running her first half, yet decided to pace Susan and David to a PR. Bex could have easily said, "See ya!" and taken off, but instead, she did a fine thing. I heart the RBF!!!

My job, since I wimped out and didn't run this half because of my stupid $#!~@ ITB, was pretty damn simple: take photos at the start, drive 10 minutes to the 10-mile mark, where there was a cool statue, and take photos at the end. The race started at 8. Photos: check! I didn't have to be at the 10-mile mark til 9:15. That's an HOUR AND FIFTEEN minutes to make a 10-minute drive. That would be a 10-minute drive. As in TEN MINUTES.

I had the directions from the start to the 10-mile marker, which was TWO BLOCKS from Susie and David's house. That would be TWO BLOCKS.

So, with all the time in the world, I sauntered over to Starbucks, grabbed a latte and the Post, and figured I'd drive right over to the 10-mile mark (remember? That place that was a 10-minute drive?) because I didn't want to take any chances that I would miss getting a good shot of my little RBF group.

Armed with my latte, a map, and written directions (left, left, right, left, right—bam! home in TEN MINUTES), I took off.

Well, by 9:00, a good FIFTY MINUTES after I started, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it.

I was driving 70 mph, zigzagging all over God's creation. WHERE THE HELL WAS THAT FIRST TURN???

I returned to the start two times before I finally got it right. Then, of course, I got every single red light. Plus? There was a RACE going on. So there were marshalls holding back traffic on the quaint streets of old-town Fredricksburg.

I'm telling you I thought I was going to have a heart attack getting to that 10-mile mark.

Wheels screeching, I drove to within a block of the 10-mile mark, jumped out of the car, and instantly saw my work colleage Craig flying down the street. I tried to run alongside him (in my Land's End clogs and fifteen layers of clothing) but he was booking it.

I made it to the statue by 9:15. Only by divine intervention. And I stood by myself, asking everyone who ran by what their pace was, so I could see if I missed my little group. The 8-minute pace runners, the 8:30, the 9:00, yeah! I didn't miss them! Meanwhile, all the racers thought I was the race photographer, so I started taking photos of everyone. With that nice statue as a backdrop.

See? Strangers in front of nice statue.

(I'm trying to shorten this story, I swear.) I finally saw my brave trio opposite the mile marker and grabbed a shot. I couldn't figure out how they got by me. Oh well, disgusted with myself, I headed back to the car to drive the TEN MINUTES to the finish so I could at LEAST get that shot. As I opened the car door, someone screamed "Jeanne!" and there they were, running towards me and getting ready to run by the statue. The statue that I had left. Because I thought I had missed them.

I left the car door ajar, and ran alongside as they handed me clothes and gu packets and I got one decent shot of the three of them, but of course, not in front of the statue where I had stood for 1/2 hour and got every single other runner...bah!

See? Our little trio with NO STATUE in the background.

Blah, blah, all's well that ends well, right? Right! And what a finish! I made it back in TEN MINUTES this time, and got a few shots of our group pouring it on.

It was awesome!

Afterwards, we went to brunch in old town Fredricksburg, where I endured many comments about how clever I was to turn a TEN-MINUTE drive into a 60-minute one.


Old town Fredricksburg is like, well, this:

And Susie and David are, in reality, George and Mary Bailey. In fact, I'm pretty sure that David runs the old broken-down Building & Loan. As we walked along the Rockwellian streets of downtown Fredricksburg, we were stopped every 10 seconds by people saying hello to them, or congratulating them.

And, just to make the day absolutely perfect, Richie nailed his marathon! You go, girlfriend!

So, what I'm saying is: It's a Wonderful Life.


Laurie said...

Your antics make me giggle.

Waterfall said...

You remembered your camera? And were able to find the finish line in time for your friends to finish? Congratulations! Y'all did much better than we did in Charlotte this weekend. We forgot the camera, and then my friends went to the wrong finish line and wondered why they couldn't find me. This race-spectator gig is harder than it looks!

WADDLER26.2 said...

Love the story. I've had that panic feeling when trying to find someone.

susie said...

We really loved having you both. Thanks soooo much for your heroic efforts. I love all the pics, and they wouldn't have been possible without you. You and Bex MADE the weekend!!

m said...

I'm still laughing at your post.

Great pictures and plot.

Neese said...

it's a wonderful life, indeed :o)

Anne said...

Is Le Petit Auberge still there? I loved that little restaurant. Sounds like you did a commendable crew job.

Firefly's Running said...

Very awesome post!!

Mark I. said...

One day, when I'm rich and senseless, I'm going to spend all my time running and going to watch all the RBFrs run.

Sweet. :)

Just12Finish said...

Thanks, my latest (and only) idol-ee. Does that make me the idol-er?

Hey, I much prefer seeing a brick wall and a Potato Head t-shirt than some boring statue!

Bob said...

Will you be my race photographer and report writer...pleassseeeeee. :)

Bob said...

Oh and Merry Christmas from the Family, Feliz Navidad. Too Funny