Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bix 7 Complete!

Must start at the Yellow Zone   What a day!   We have been awake since 4 A.M. this morning so we could find a parking spot and buy donuts and coffee before the race.  Parking was not as difficult as I had thought, although I was worried a little when the ramp from yesterday was blocked off.


This is where Cheryl has to say,"adios!"

With an hour to spare, Cheryl and I headed to the “Yellow Section”  that matched her bib tag….Simple enough.  All the directions warn you to arrive earlyNote the two "bouncers" to keep the "spec-tatters"  like me outside and make sure you enter your color zone at the proper entrance.   I was forced to bid Cheryl farewell at this point, since there were no spectators allowed. 

Ah,  the perfect spectator location So as Cheryl found her place in the start line,  I headed up the road to find a good vantage point to see if I could get any pics of the Elites and possibly Cheryl as she came out of the gate.   In typical fashion,  my “AWESOME” vantage point was quickly taken over by oblivious and (unknowingly rude) spectators.  The kind who dart in front of you as if you are not even there.  Ah well….what are you going to do?   I guess I’m  used to it by now. 

Ah,  ANOTHER spectator location...minus the rude people.... The temperature was hot and humid.   The announcers were warning folks to take it easy and be safe.  Last year they had 4 planes....What happened to the other two? They urged the participant to expect a 30-50 second addition to their “per-mile pace.”   I was not worried about Cheryl as we both agreed that this run was simply a celebrity watch and basically a freebee, since it is practically in our back yard.  Cheryl knows she does not have the same performance in the heat as she does in the cooler weather. 

Nothing says America like a biker gang! Nonetheless, the race seemed to take forever to start.   I guess they were waiting for the planes to line up with the songs and the cannon start.  Just a side note….stick to the national anthem…. PLEEEASE!  Not everyone loves country music….no matter how “patriotic” guns and pick-ups might seem.   Just sayin’.  The Wrong Music can KILL THE MOOD!

After the Planes, “Vietnam Vets” on Motorcycles, and  Lee Greenwood serenade….all that was missing was a HUGE HAMBURGER and a full sized pickup truck to kick off this run!   YEEEHAAAWWW!

Meb heads out to lead the pack. Finally!  The Music stops and gun goes off! The Elites tore out front since there was money on the line.   The Top  10 runners win cash prizes. ( I believe)  I was able to get some good shots of Meb as he ran by.   (Notice the 4 guys in Purple  in the back behind the lead pack….you will see them again. )   Meb took the lead around mile two I believe….and held it for several miles before being overtaken near the end.   Leading the “pack” is tough because I guess you have to plow through your own air instead of drafting behind someone.Note the 4 guys in Purple behind the pack.  

The next wave of people ( the ones with the orange tags on their bibs) came thought.   I was a little suspicious as to their placement….they did not look like “serious athletes” from my vantage point.  From what Cheryl witnessed, that was the case.   I’m not sure who or what they put on their entrance forms, but my guess is that “average pace” was exaggerated a bit.  The Orange group.....not elite, but suposedly not slow either. Cheryl was placed in the “yellow” zone and she ended up passing many of the “orange” folks.  They only reason I am complaining is because I was trying to find Cheryl in that cluster of human torsos…and that is never an easy task…since Cheryl is so short and dinky and cute…..but I digress.

  First sighting of Cheryl....can you see her?I ended up snapping random pictures of people as they passed by…hoping I would “accidentally” capture a fragment of Cheryl as she washed by in the tide.  AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT!!!!can you see her now?

I must have shot about 30 pictures of nameless faces….but, with a little help from Cheryl’s memory,  I was able to find her amidst the marching brigade of runners.  Can you see her?    Here is a close up:

 Jane Mansfield?  Or Marilyn Monroe There were also some other spectacles to enjoy as the people flowed by.   There was a  group of Marilyn Monroe/ Jane Mansfield look alike; 


The Three Elvis's; Elvis trio!


And the Dancing Human Vertebrae!  ( Put on by the School of Chiropractic) The dancing vertebrae  



Purple Elites sprint for the finish! The Elites finally returned charging down the Brady Street hill like sprinters.   ( Note the group of purple guys…again) Meb drops to 8th   Two were from Kenya and Two from Ethiopia.   I’m not sure which one was the winner, but it was a mad dash to the finish.   Meb Keflezighi eventually dropped back to 8th ( still in the top ten)  I’m sure the heat was a factor, just like it was for Cheryl.Cheryl on the way to the finish!

I found Cheryl at the train bridge coming in for the finish.   Once again, I was not allowed to join her at the after race party.   I guess there was a treasure trove of snacks.  It didn’t really matter to me since we were planning on Ice cream after the race anyway.She waves!   Only 1/8th of a mile to go.  

So, there you have it.   I guess the heat affected quite a few people this year compared to previous years.   Judging from the participants, and from stories I overheard, I can imagine why.  View from the skyway.   Several “groups” entered the race at the last minute with little or no training.   I’m not sure how much “partying” they had to do to think running 7 miles in the heat and humidity sounded good.  And perhaps I’m profiling too much…but you did not see ME out there running this morning….And there is a reason for that. I wish I had found this place ealier!

The results for the race are not up quite yet.  Cheryl is obsessing by her computer waiting for them to update the final tally. Cheryl looks forward to Icecream!   Her time is similar to her training runs but she wants to compare her results with everyone else's today.   The Heat has a way of leveling the playing field…even if you do NOT manage a personal best.   Everything is relative. 

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