Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tracy's Pasadena Half Marathon Report

Submitted by Tracy Burwell @ATurtlesPace

I have run many races since becoming a #run3rd captain, all worthy of a race report. Unfortunately I sometimes have great ideas that don't get onto paper due to my attention deficit. But the Pasadena half marathon was so intense, so HOT, and so heartfelt, there was no way I couldn't write about the experience.

It all started out quite normal! We arrived prepared for the forecasted heat wave conditions. My daughter @hipster_runner was running the 10k and me the half. We were both sporting team Run Sparkle skirts and #run3rd patches. I also had a race belt full of hearts with dedications on them!

I recall feeling the sun beating down on me as soon as it rose! I began to think the heat would be my biggest challenge, and it was. I enjoyed running over 'Suicide Bridge' and around the Rose Bowl, but somewhere around mile 11, I began to have trouble. I felt hot, weak and a little dingy, more so then usual! I recall staying close to buildings trying to steal what little shade was available. I wasn't sure at this point if I would be able to make it and walking became the pace. As I walked and jogged I notice a woman in the middle of the street yelling to us "would you like some ice?" I accepted this gift of life and rolled it into the bandana I always carry, and wrapped it around my neck.

I began to rally a bit and slowly run again but was discouraged. Then another angel came to the rescue! A friend from twitter who I had never met was waiting with iced towels for ME, a perfect stranger. Two fellow runners went entirely above the call of duty and saved the day. I not only got a cooling towel, but also received a pep talk and a cheer to keep going from the many bystanders.  I actually took off in the wrong direction at this point and was redirected by Erica.

My mind kept telling me I had to just keep going, as one of the people I was running for had no feet. I remember thinking I need to finish this for him and the others trusting me with their run3rd dedications. So off I went with a new focus and drive to get to the finish line! I will never forget Connie and Erica for that towel and words of encouragement.

At last I could see the finish line in the distance. I began to try and pick up my pace but my legs were like lead. The finish line was going to be sweet! I had really earned this medal! But instead of a medal, I was met by a volunteer who said "sorry, we ran out of medals." My heart was a little disappointed but didn't have time for despair, because, for the first time, I was sick to my stomach and needed to find someplace to hide and get sick. But first a hug from my concerned and relieved family. Little did I know, 13 people had already been admitted to the hospital for heat stroke!

We headed to the car and that's when the worst cramp of my life hit my right calf. I spent the next day in bed feeling sick, weak and totally spent!

But I had a feeling of accomplishing the important job I set out to do, and that was to #run3rd!

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