Even though I was not able to compete in the half I went along as cheerleader/sherpa for my friends running in the half and full marathon. It started out with my first train ride...which was delayed several hours due to a train vs pedestrian accident south of Bellingham. Then we had two of our group miss the train! A ride was found for them and they made it not long after we did. On top of that the train was over booked and we were told to find seats wherever we could. We ended up all in different cars, but luckily I was able to sit with one friend. I didn't have to just stare into space for a couple hours.
Once we arrived in Vancouver on Saturday it was really nice just hanging out and walking over to the expo to pick up packets and do a little shopping. Sunday arrived dark, cold, and rainy. I hate to say it but I was secretly happy that I didn't have to run in that downpour. It took a little bit of coordination to get those running the half off the line at 7:00 and the full marathoners at 7:30. We then had about an hour to get some coffee and breakfast before it was time to head back to cheer them on to the finish line. We were yelling for everyone who passed by, and it was really cool to see how much people appreciated having their name called and encouraging words to get them through that last 200 meters.
We gathered our half runners and went back to the Hotel so they could shower and get warm. By the time they were all ready we needed to get back down to the finish to cheer on the first of our marathoners. Several had run at least one before but my friends, Dawn & Bill Wefer, were running their first (and most likely last) one. They did great and I am unbelievably proud of them. It seems a little cruel, but you have to walk up a huge stairway to get back up to the Hotel area. It hurt me just watching a few of our friends navigate their way. Then it was lunch and off to the train to go home. Of course there was another delay on the train...someone had something in their checked bag that they should not have...the Conductor wouldn't tell us what it was. It was a bit intimidating when they brought the sniffer dog on board and then all of a sudden there are about 6 Homeland Security Agents standing in the aisle. They left her aboard and didn't take the suitcase, so it must have been something innocuous in the end.
It was quite the whirlwind weekend and a bit like herding cats keeping everyone going in the same direction, but I had a blast. I do intend to be one of the competitors next year - the 40th Anniversary of the Vancouver Marathon. Now I need to set a new shorter term goal.