This weekend, I didn’t race. It was glorious. Instead, I headed down to the Pentagon on Sunday morning to cheer for friends and strangers running the Marine Corps Marathon.
We were definitely aware of the added security. Rather than travel through the Pentagon area with our bags and cooler, we headed to Pentagon City and walked. Not a whole lot further, to be honest, but we wanted to avoid all of the bag check hassle. We had a lot of stuff.
The security was definitely heavier than in previous years. Before the race, Laura and I were filling little snack bags with pretzels and one of the Marines asked us if we were going to be handing them out to runners and we said yes. He told us that they were required to stop people from handing out snacks to the runners because the snacks might be poisoned.
Wow. Again, I wasn’t going to argue with this guy, but just the though that that is even an issue… I don’t even know what to say.
Thankfully, we were still allowed to hand out things to our friends, and we decided if someone came us and asked us if we had something, we would consider that person a new friend, but we couldn’t just stand there with our hands outstretched with pretzels or candy or beer.
(This also means I have half a case of beer and three pounds of gummy bears leftover. Party time.)
Apparently, the typical fences that usually separate runners from spectators at the start and finish area had barbed wire this year as well.
But the day was still a blast! I didn’t take a ton of pictures because I was too busy yelling and screaming and handing out snacks.
We cheered on the 10K runners, and saw some famous names, including Carlos Arredondo (the “Boston Cowboy Hat Hero”). He was carrying a pair of combat boots with a photo button on them for his son and wearing a Boston shirt with his trademark hat. He wasn’t doing anything to really call attention to himself, but the boots caught my eye, and the hat and hair made me think it was him (a quick check of the results verified it). He could use what he did to call attention to himself and his cause and yet he doesn’t, and I think that makes what he did even that much more awesome.
We watched the wheelchair racers come through and then it was time for the lead runner.
Hey, what’s that leading the runners?
It can’t be.
It’s the Duck Boat!
Yes, the duck boat was leading the runners. I hope this race didn’t involve any swimming.
And then the runners came through and the camera went away and I got lots and lots of sweaty hugs and have no voice today.
If you have never cheered for a race, go do it. It’s awesome.
I absolutely ADORE cheering at races! I’ll be at the Philly marathon this year and can’t wait to get out there and cheer my heart out. 😉 I’m thinking I’ll bring Twizzlers for mile 24/25 – I don’t think anyone will take issue with that. 🙂
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Thanks for cheering! I thought I would see more random food handouts and beer but didn’t…I guess I know why know.
Running Librarian recently posted…Marine Corps Marathon: Never trust a box of Wheaties and the damnjuggler is back
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