Submitted by Cheyanne Witte @cheygirl1
I decided to run the 5k at the Hollywood Half Marathon awhile ago. I am originally from Southern California and I go back there on occasion. Back when I decided to start running my father told me that running a 5k was on his bucket list and wanted to come out to Colorado to run one with me. I decided to pick the Hollywood Half and make a family vacation out of it. About a month before the race my dad found out that the stent he had put in after his heart attack had to be replaced. He went in to the hospital but the artery was too far closed to put one in. But the doctor told him he was doing much better than expected and gave him the okay to still run!
After spending a night in Las Vegas and a couple nights with family we checked in to our hotel. We decided to stay at the Sheraton because I wanted to be close to the Expo and they gave me a better discount than the Hilton! After checking in my oldest daughter and I decided to go check out the Expo while my husband and my other 2 girls went to the pool. It was fun walking around looking at everything and my daughter got so excited about the race she decided to sign up right then. I was so excited that we would have 3 generations all running together! I let my daughter wear my Sean Astin signed #Run3rd hat! We decided to walk over to Universal City Walk for some food and fun!
I saw some Tweets coming in from other #Run3rd team members and saw fellow captain Leah Gutierrez aka @LeahMari11 going up the escalators while I was going down! I recognized her right away! We walked around and talked while looking for Toadhop Network Studios. While walking around we heard that Jay Leno would be there filming a segment for the Tonight Show so we went to watch. Immediately one the people with the Tonight Show came up and asked if my daughter Britlyn would talk to Jay for the segment. She was so excited and hoped he would ask about her hat! The segment was fun and it aired almost a week later! And no, she can’t dance but too bad they didn’t ask her to sing!
The next day my parents joined us and we went to pick up our packets. We were invited to go to the filming of American Ninja Warrior in Venice Beach that night. I probably shouldn’t have gone the night before the race but I couldn’t resist! We ended up leaving early and got back to the hotel at about 2am.
After just about 3hrs of sleep I was up and ready for the race. My daughter, my father and I decided to take the shuttle provided by the race organizers from the Hilton Universal. I went to the shuttle first because I wanted to get to the #Run3rd meet up at 5:15am. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. After making 2 U-turns and then hitting something our motor coach just stopped a few blocks from the starting line. I ran there but was too late for the meet up. Thankfully Leah, Heather and Lupe came back to the meet up spot to say a quick hello, hug and take a picture. Then it was time to get to our corrals.
I waited and waited for my daughter and my father to arrive. My daughter told me that they were told one of the motor coaches had broken down and they were down to one. After they had waited about 2hrs they finally got a motor coach there for them. They ended up being over an hour late for the start of the race. I really was looking forward to running with them or at least starting with them since I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them. I decided to just go because the race organizers were telling everyone to just go and not stand around. I ended up walking too much because I spent half the race on my cell texting and calling to find out what was happening and where they were. They were so fast though that they ended up catching and then passing me! My dad ended up finishing 2nd for his age group! Things didn’t go how we wanted and after all the confusion I ended up not getting a picture of the three of us together but we still had fun. Everyone drove back to the hotel and my daughter and I went in search of the shuttle back to the Hilton.
We took a couple of pictures at the finish line with our medals and after about 2 hrs and talking to many, we along with others that we met also looking for the shuttle finally found the buses and went back to the hotel and to the hot tub! I felt really good after the race. As I said things didn’t go as planned but they sure could have gone much worse. The pain that I had weeks before the race in my hip and knee completely disappeared for the race! I thought about all those that I was running for and the dedications that I had read. That was one of the reasons my daughter decided to join. She wanted to dedicate a run to her friend with leukemia. I have another race next week that I am even more excited for and will be looking for more dedications!