After my big ride near St Helens on Saturday, it was time for the drive back. It was important to get home Saturday night as Michelle and her best friend Kim (the two sexiest bike sherpas ever)
Were going to walk the Seattle Rock and Roll marathon the next morning. I was going to be able repay them (a little) for all they did on the Oregon Coast for me last year! Little did I know how much of a workout I was in for…
In some of the previous Half marathons these two had done, I rode herd on the bike, leap frogging a mile or two ahead of them for photos, and taking away layers they didn’t want to wear as the day warmed up.
Michelle and I had talked about this for this event, and we decided it wasn’t a good one to do this. There were 10 times as many people, some of the roads weren’t going to allow the bike and it wasn’t going to be hot at all. Losing layers wouldn’t be an issue. So we decided that the best bet was to get them to the starting line at Husky Stadium (UW) in the early morning, then I would drive down to Seahawk Stadium (I HATE calling it Centurylink!) and wait for them to cross the finish line.
My plan was a 3 hours of sipping coffee, blogging and surfing the web. A great way to recover from a long ride!
We were up on time, and out the door! The weather dude called for clear and warm, but we live in Seattle. so of course it was drizzling! At least it was a warm drizzle.
There was no way to get them all the way to the starting line, but Michelle suggested I drop them at U-Village, a mall close by. I parked and eagle-eye Kim spotted an open Starbucks! She misslelocked on it! First off, it was a chance for coffee! Secondly, a last chance at a restroom that was NOT a honeybucket!
As you can see by the smiles we were successful on both goals!
With the snapping of this prerace photo, I was on the road and heading south! Soon I was happily ensconced in the Pioneer Square Starbucks, sipping coffee and blogging away, along with other friends and family members of the Rock & Roll participants!
Now our friend Kim is a technology whiz! Every event she does, she sets up a live tracking. This lets her sherpas on scene as well as loved ones nationwide, keep track of her! It works even better than the tracking app Michelle and I use to keep tabs on each other during our solo events.
Well they were a little over an hour in when the phone rang, it was Kim! Well right then I got worried.
Michelle is just getting over a major ear infection, and may had perforated her ear drum. Neither of the ladies had been able to train as much as they wanted, AND the rain made things slippery. So when the phone went off, I was sure someone was down.
Knowing this, the first words out of her mouth were “This is a technology issue call! We are both fine!” Gotta love her.
Turns out, unbeknownst to her, when she started the tracker on the phone, and then put it in her pocket, the camera came on. Running the camera and tracker had essentially killed her battery. She wanted to a) let me know the feed would die before they reached the finish line, and b) to ask me to grab her emergency battery from the car so she could plug-in the phone at the end and let people know what happened.
Damn, at that point I was lamenting the no bike decision. With it I coulda cut across Seattle, through the I 90 bike tunnel and caught up to them along the lake. I could do the same route on foot, but looking at the tracker there was no way I would get there in time to intersect them. And, even though they were walking instead of running, no way I would be able to catch them. DAMN!
So I sat my ass back down and let her phone die, disappointing all of Kim and Michelle’s fans….
LIKE HELL I DID!
These two schlepped suitcases and gear for 8 days across Oregon, making sure we were fed every night and ready to go each morning.
There was no way I was gonna let the tracking end.
I loaded the MacBook into the backpack, took one last sip of coffee, and got her battery pack from the car. I then did my best impression of a salmon swimming upstream, I started hoofing the Half marathon course in the reverse direction. The legs were a bit displeased with me…
I kept the tracker going and figured out I would meet up with them at the 10 mile point. Since I started at mile 13, this would be 3 miles away! Sure enough, I got to the 10 mile sign before them. A few minutes later, Michelle spotted me and called my name! The phone was in the redzone of power, but we plugged it in and the tracking was saved….
But, and I know some of you have already figured this out… I was 3 miles from the finish line! The only way back was to turn around and follow the course! STILL hauling a backpack with a heavy laptop. However, with the two of them there, I now, with a serious effort on tired legs had people to walk with.
Kim and Michelle told me I didn’t slow them down, but when I broke off to take another route to the finish line, they sure seemed to pull away! Luckily I found a short cut, so I was there when they reached the end. Kim by then had plenty of power to live stream the finish for all those who could not be there.
For the 6th time as a team, these two earned half marathon medals!
And once again, I was lucky enough to be there to support these two! It took walking a 10 K (6 miles) to do it, but I was damned if I was going to let these two down after all they did for me!
Next time, though, I am bringing the bike!!!
Afterwards was a big breakfast, showers and then I took them wine tasting. All in all a great day and I am SO proud of these two! Love ya ladies!