Sunday was race day!
My wonderful neighbor, Morgan was confused about the date of my race and placed this great sign on the door last week. It was a wonderful surprise.
Morgan (aka – great neighbor)
All week long it served as inspiration as I recovered from my cold and did everything I could to be ready for race day.
On Sunday morning I met Michelle, my wonderful running buddy.
And picked up my number. Lucky 13.
Not long after Ogonnaya showed up with her group of friends.
Ogonnaya, Elena, Michelle and I ran together. We had a blast! We chatted and laughed. I did a little walking too.
As we ran, we were cheered on by children, church ladies, and folks standing at corners either amazed or dismayed. We were called models, invited to stop and stay for a while and offered rides. One guy saw all four of us run by and said, “Now that’s a lot of pork chop.” It was too funny to be insulting.
The cops were great. We tried to thank all of them as we went by them. It was cold and damp out there and they were standing at the corners stopping traffic on our behalf. They encouraged us every step of the way. One cop told us to slow down, he needed the overtime. We thanked him for that. We couldn’t have gotten any slower. We were the back of the pack! We had our own police escort.
My wonderful partner Kim invited friends to cheer for me and my friends along the route.
It was wonderful to suddenly come upon Llanor, Kate & Olivia, Chrissy, Josh and little baby Matty all waving, clapping and cheering for us.
And if that wasn’t enough, The Lovely Kim, the Wonderful Anika and the Divine Turk showed up at the start, miles 1, 4, 5 and the finish!
Clockwise – the Wonderful Anika, The Lovely Kim and the Divine Turk – My Cheerleaders
My cheerleaders yelled, “You can do it.” “Go, Esther, Go.” And my favorite, “Run, Forest, Run.” They took pictures, jumped up and down, and clapped and then dashed off to the next mile and did it all over again.
I’m so profoundly blessed to have these women in my corner, to count them as friends. I cannot say enough about who they are for me. They fill my life with joy, laughter, and happiness.
At the finished I got hugs from new friends – Elena — and old friends – Llanor, Cheryl, Nzinga and my cheerleaders!
At the Finish!
As for the running it was hard! Hard like it was in the beginning. It was cold and damp and my legs felt tight the whole time. And I did more walking than I would have wanted to, but my running buddies — Ogonnaya, Michelle, and Elena (not pictured) kept me moving and … reminded me that I could do it.
Ogonnaya, Michelle and Me.
We set the goal to finish at 1hr and 43 min. We finished 1hr and 31min!