My goodness, what a weekend!
It was jam-packed with awesomeness, and I’ll try to break it down without being overly wordy 😉 But you know me…
Friday (2/28): we drove to Atlanta after Javi got off work. The family + my friend / running buddy, MM. Took over 6 hours, with traffic and a dinner stop at Five Guys for some burgers & fries.
We arrived late, sorted out a weird hotel room situation (Yay to hubby for negotiating an extra room!), and slept in til 6:45 Saturday AM.
Saturday (2/29): Breakfast at 7, a small one, since we were gonna run at 8:30. I hadn’t planned for an extra run, so I had to figure out the clothing situation (I just wore my Oiselle Bird Hug tights all day, basically!). MM and I first went to packet pick-up… And saw the Trials’ start line on the way there!
Then over to the Clean Sport Collective shake-out run, hosted by the one and only Kara Goucher. I had high hopes to meet Kara, but once I saw the huge crowd (hundred of people showed up!) I tempered my expectations. MM started in the back, after a quick warm-up and convo with Oiselle ladies Carolyn and Cammi. Lo & behold, we ended up seeing Kara at the turnaround, and MM got a high-5 (I took the pic, naturally!) Then at the cross walk near the hotel, we finally met Kara! AHHH so excited! I was definitely in shock to meet one of my running heroes. I absolutely adore Kara–so humble yet so talented, so professional yet so much fun. Thank you for obliging us with the picture, Kara–I’m sure you were mobbed by fans all day long!
We had 2nd breakfast back at the hotel, after cutting the run short (2 miles instead of 3—I wanted to conserve my energy—this was a GOOD CALL!) The boys had gone to the College Football Hall of Fame, nearby, so I showered and enjoyed some quiet time at the hotel for about an hour. Then we headed over to watch the Olympic Marathon Trials!!!
Here’s where we were on the course, circled in red, between mile markers 2/10/18 and 5/13/21:
After a 1 mile-ish walk, we arrived at 4th and Peachtree NE. Oiselle had a “cowbell corner” that turned into a whole city block of our team—truly an awesome sight! All of my race photos are here.
We met Shelby from CO and chatted for awhile, eating Picky Bars. I scoped out my vantage points from both sides of the street. In hindsight, I should’ve looked at the map better… I thought they’d come up on the right side of the street, and back on the left… I was wrong. No biggie though, my pics still turned out fine. I saw the motorcycles, then the lead truck with time clock… then finally, a “stampede” of fast men! Here’s the men on Lap 1:
And Lap 1 for the women:
I can’t really put into words how exciting this was, to have the best marathoners in the US running towards me… then running past me, just a few feet away. Especially the women—all of my running heroes, running together in a group, and I was there to see it!! I was just in awe of their speed, and talent. I guess this could sum it up: my Garmin kept giving me a “stress alert,” suggesting I need to slow down and take some deep breaths. I was already standing still, so I tried the deep breaths, but it was just so freakin awesome! I’m sure my heart rate was high from the excitement–I couldn’t contain myself. This felt like Christmas for RunNerds like me 🙂 The giddiness continued for hours!
And the noise—it wasn’t to the point of deafening, but for sure, it was LOUD! I loved the reactions of some of the runners… I could tell they were feeling the love from us! Here are some of my favorites:
The toughest part for me? I stood on a little one foot tall wrought iron fence for most of these… hard on my feet, and difficult to balance! I crossed the street several times, which became increasingly harder as the fields got more and more separated.
Lap 2 for the men:
Lap 2 for the women:
Kara Goucher watching the women approach us 🙂
I was very curious when the women’s lead pack would break up… could not believe there were still so many in the front pack!
The men’s final lap provided no big shock… Galen Rupp had taken the lead:
And how about this guy?? The Dark Horse on the men’s side, Jake Riley, was in 6th place when he passed us around mile 21… talk about NEVER GIVE UP!?!
On the 6th time passing us, it finally did, and I could hardly believe what I saw:
I actually had to go back a few minutes later, when there was a bit of a lull in runners, to see WHO IT WAS cuz in the quick passing, I didn’t recognize any of them!
BTW, Shoutout to my fellow cheer zone ladies!
We left after all the ladies ran past… it was a long, yet very rewarding and exciting, afternoon! On the way back, I obsessively checked the app to see who won. I was just thrilled to be part of the 2020 Olympic Trials!
Want to see all my race photos? Check ’em out here.
My Atlanta 5K race report is coming next 🙂