February 7, 2013

The JFK 50: Don't worry, I didn't run it.

On November 17th, My mom and my step-dad Joe decided that they were CRAZY and wanted to run this fancy 50 mile race... again. So my friend Jamie and I were their Crew. 

This involves meeting your runners on the race course at several pre-designated points and bringing them, well, whatever the hell they want. Food, drinks, gu, changes of clothes, socks, shoes, hat changes, whatever. So you meet your runners, give them whatever they bark at you and then make sure you know their pace and what time they will be at the next checkpoint and what they will want. If you don't find out what they will want at the next checkpoint, bring EVERYTHING. 

Oh! and we get t-shirts! 
So the night before the race, we got to Hagerstown, Maryland and checked into the hotel the 'rents would be staying in. Which happened to be the official Race Expo location. Perf.
Clarion- this place is only marginally better than the place that put ultramarathon runners in a smoking room.
Oh, except that their room faced the expo room and it was really loud, so we almost immediately bounced and met up with Jamie and Bébé Alex... at the outlets!! (What? me, shopping? Noooooo...) After Jamie and I grabbed a quick geocache in the outlet parking lot, we all went to dinner together. 
So post-dinner, I spent the night at Zac and Jamie's and we decided to surprise Mom and Joe with support signs. Oh yeah, just like the ones you've seen on the internet, but better.

Race Day:
Our first course meet- up is Weverton Cliffs- 15.0 miles which is immediately after they get off the Appalachian Trail. Parking there is a bitch. But don't worry, Jamie and I survived our 3 block hike to the trail.
This is where we parked.
For this, our first meet-up, the signs we chose were a couple of classics:
Run like you stole something
Toenails are overrated!
That second one may not seem like a "classic" but if you know an ultra runner (that's when being a marathon runner isn't intense enough) then I'm betting you're gonna think that second one's really funny. 

Then we hit Antietam- 27.1 miles well, we hit a geocache or two and then got to Antietam. Yes, that Antietam, where the infamous battle in the civil war was fought. No, we didn't do anything interesting or historical. We did, however, stop at a gas station for food and coffee. There was no food. I mean, none. they had potato chips and not much of a selection, and slim jims. That's when the gas station guy and lady pointed out to us the bin of homemade doughnuts for like $0.75 each. there were two left, Done deal. I may have dropped one on the ground and then still ate it and DAMN it was goooood. We were really quite hungry and  it was totally worth it.
Run like a Kenyan... being chased by Killer Bees!
Run like a Kenyan, This is so overused it's ridiculous. There are t-shirts that say this. Every marathon runner has seen a sign with this or something similar to it. So we wanted to add something to really give it something special. Killer Bees!
The stick figure Kenyan is saying "I'm faster than you!"
Quick! History Quiz!! 
Q: Who knows where Marathons started? 
A: The name Marathon comes from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger. The legend states that he was sent from the Battle of Marathon (in Marathon) to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated. It is said that he ran the entire 25 mile distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming "We won!" and then dropped dead. In all fairness, this guy just was fighting in a battle and then they made him book it to Athens. Did they not have a page or someone that could do that? I guess not. Oh, and all of this happened in 490 BC.
When they started the modern olympics in 1896 they didn't have a set distance, they went back and forth between running almost 25 mi and over 26.5. 
So why is it now 26.2 miles? because some asses in the International Olympic Committee agreed in 1907 that the distance for the 1908 London Olympic marathon would be about 25 miles, the standard at the time if there was one. The organizers decided on a course of 26 miles from the start at Windsor Castle to the royal entrance to the White City Stadium, followed by a partial lap of the track, 385 yards, finishing in front of the Royal Box and that distance kind of just stuck.

But I digress.
Antietam- 27.1
With this new knowledge, 

Pheidippides was Dead by now
Pheidippides was dead by now is Hilarious when you know that those people running past us at mile 27 have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what the hell that sign means. We originally weren't going to make the Pheidippides sign, but Jamie convinced me that for that one guy who gets it, it will make his race. So we did, and wouldn't you know it, we were at that checkpoint for less than 5 minutes when the only runner other than my mom who got that sign pointed at it and yelled, "Yes!" 
Totally worth it.Also at Antietam, in the parking lot we saw this car: 
JFK 50 Car
That guy has to be intense. 
From there, we made our way into Antietam's town center. We were a'searchin' for some eats. We stopped at what seemed to be the only restaurant/bar open in the town and they were packed. I mean, like woah. We waited for a table and practically attacked a couple as they left, then before we even saw a waitress we had to leave because we were afraid that we would miss Mom and Joe at mile 38. So we got some advice from some locals and stopped at a deli down the road and grabbed some quick eats and a 6-pack. Remember, we were super hungry and all we'd had to eat was gas station doughnuts.

Then off to Taylor's Landing Aid Station- 38.1 miles where our adventure really starts.

For next time, friends, for next time.


Amanda said...

Jane! You're back in the blogsphere!! This is a great post - I love how you tell (and illustrate!) your stories...but don't leave us hanging!!

Lady Jane said...

You're right! I will get on Part Deux asap!!