Minneapolis Half Marathon (or How I Do First Dates)
June 3rd was the 3rd of 5 races for the Team Ortho Monster Marathon Series. I had originally signed up for the marathon, but after coming off Tough Mudder and with the weather forecast calling for hot, humid weather, I opted to run the half marathon instead. While this may look like a cop-out to some, it turned out to be a really good call on my part. Here’s why….
I’m back on the dating scene again. If my divorce has taught me anything it’s that any guy I end up with must learn that he will end up in a polyandrous relationship. I am also married to running/racing. So when this incredibly sexy firefighter from Fargo told me he wanted to come to town to get to know me, I invited him to a half marathon for a first date. Little did he know that not only was this a test to see if he was willing to get up at 4 am to spend the bulk of his day watching people run, but he was also being graded on how disgusted he was to give me a hug while I reeked and was drenched and sweat and his post race massage skills. All very important if you plan on spending your life with me. It’s also a great test in how secure he is since lets face it, there’s some serious eye candy at these things. When it’s 80 and humid, there are some pretty hot guys running around without shirts on, chest glistening (and a few that should probably put their shirts back on, but that’s a different story).
The night before the race, I volunteered at packet pick up handing out race t-shirts. This was actually a blast. I ran into several people I knew who were running the race and got to chat with fellow runners. I also got to spend the bulk of the night staring at a shirtless firefighter that was 2 tables down promoting the Women Rock races. I was a little disappointed that he was not one of the featured firemen in the calendar, but I was later reminded by my date that I while all these women signing up for the race got to have their picture taken with him, I got to take a real live firefighter home with me after the race. No complaints there 🙂
I woke up bright and early to pick out my cutest running outfit, but apparently not early enough, because I ended up getting rerouted thanks to interstate closures and had to use the few blocks from the parking ramp to the race start as my warm up sprint. I made it to the start in time, but there was no way I was going to make it through the porta-potty line. Please God, don’t let my bladder and intestines fail me now. At 7:30 am, myself and nearly 3000 runners/walkers were off for a steamy 13.1 miles. I found the 1:50 pacer and tried to keep on his heels for as much as the race as I could. Every water station was like coming across an oasis in the desert. With the exception of the first station, they also had paper cups! Someone had taken my ranting on the last race survey seriously. Hallelujah! It was a beautiful course along the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis. We passed the falls and stone arch bridge. Ran by the Mill City Museum. As it turns out, I would get to know that stretch of the course pretty well in the hours following the race. 1:50:54 later, I crossed the finish line. No where near my fastest finish, but given the circumstances, I’m still happy with it. How I stood up to the other runners:
Overall 475 out of 2779
Women’s Division 170 out of 1773
W30-34 Age Group 33 out of 356
My firefighter had some trouble finding parking, so I walked back to my car to find him after talking some poor guy that looked like he was about to hurl into snapping my pic with my medal. He passed test #1 by giving me a huge sweaty hug the second he saw me. He got some major brownie points for telling me how hot I looked, even after running 13.1 miles. He also passed the race test by walking back down to the post race party with me to have a beer with my friend and fellow RMM member illinoishawkeye and her hubby at the post race party. It was actually a pretty sweet first date. We slowly made our way back down to the race and checked out the stone arch bridge and spent some time enjoying the scenery along the walk. My stink didn’t keep him from holding my hand or putting his arm around me to save me from being run over by cyclists. Had a beer, enjoyed the band, and then walked back to our cars. Back at home, I got to grade him on his runners massage skills. A+++ He even got the IT band and feet. Heaven!! I was nice enough to shower before making him touch my feet.
PS – If you were wondering about the rest of the date, we had a lovely dinner at a little outdoor cafe in Afton, followed by ice cream for dessert at Selma’s. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing at the Marina. He wasn’t scared away by my unconventional dating habits, and we’re planning to see each other again this weekend for a non-running related date.