Matt in his spot - sitting next to a bigger flat-screen TV than I have in my house! Did I mention that this was a really nice hotel? They even handed out freshly-baked, warm chocolate chip cookies at the front desk when we checked in! Barbara sure can pick the good places!
Waiting for the race to start - we were at about the halfway point on this hill (Rocky Point restaurant is at the bottom and that's where we congregated before the race). People were upbeat and trying to stay warm - it was interesting to see the discarded jackets and gloves as we moved up the hill (and along the course) and I will admit I did a quick "shopping" scan to see if there was anything I wanted badly enough to carry for the next 10.6 miles. There wasn't, but along the course, there were some nice things that runners had left behind. I always figured it would be really crummy clothes from Goodwill, but there was some good stuff too! Random gorgeous view as we walked... We heard these drummers long before we saw them - they were amazing. Watsonville Taiko drummers. Matt took a video of the drummers with his iPhone, and then we fake ran for posterity. The laughter you hear? Is pretty much how the entire 10.6 miles went. He was also joking that the marathoners running toward us had contempt for us walkers, but as a runner, I know that is not the case. A little jealousy, maybe, especially on the hills, but contempt? Nah. Another random gorgeous view - the day could not have been any prettier. Matt is holding an empty GU packet - hey, they were handing them out and we each took one - did I mention we'd been up since 3:30 am? We needed all the pep and energy we could get! This was a "clean" race - you did not just randomly throw down your empty GU packets like you can in a lot of other races. We held onto our trash until the next aid station, where there were trash cans. Matt was feeling weighed down by his packet - poor guy, if he'd only not had to carry it so long, I'm sure his pace would have been much better! ;) The sun finally rose and boy did it feel good! Another RGV. This shot cracks me up because it reminds me of posing little kids on a bench with a pretty backdrop. I'd been seeing these gorgeous spiked flowers - both in deep blue and purple colors - all over the Santa Cruz area since my arrival, so I wanted to take a picture with them. As I posed next to the purple flowers, I heard loud buzzing, turned, and saw that they were FULL of bees! This is my "hurry and take the picture so I can get away" face! We stopped to admire my future house...
Another RGV - see the private driveway on the left? That led up to yet another beautiful house. Could you imagine seeing these views everyday?!?
RGV - ahhhhhhhh.
The strawberry ladies - they do this every year, and I have to tell you that these were the best strawberries - really hit the spot! This was just before mile 8.
I like seeing my shadow take a picture of the strawberry. After we crossed the finish line and were handed our
The goods - a long-sleeved cotton t-shirt, which I love, and the medal!
Icing on the cake - I'd say that this is a sweet reminder of the weekend, but I know these memories will stay with me for a long time.