Saturday, April 1, 2017

Lincoln Half-Marathon! Fun and Excitement in Springfield, Illinois!

Cheryl with the Bling!
I had forgotten just how much fun this race was.   We missed it last year because of Cheryl...   And her "injury".   (Way to blow it Cheryl.....)  If only she would have sucked up the pain like a man and soldiered on, we might have been able to enjoy this fun in 2016.  But,  you can't change the past.     "Water under the bridge" and all that.
Checking out the EXPO

Not much to look at this year
But this year we at least had the good sense to book a room in the hotel right in front of the event.  The EXPO was rather limited this year compared to there was not much of an incentive to hang out after we picked up her bib and registration info.  ( i.e.  No free beer samples)
Back to work!

We also had to work.   And by that I mean: score.   We are fortunate that we can bring our work with us...  Or cursed.  Depending on how you want to enjoy your vacation.  I probably would have spent that time playing video games or watching You Tube.   So it probably was more productive to actually make some money instead of wasting brain cells.
Late early morning Prep
Hmm, What to wear...

We could at least sleep in a bit being so close to the start line.   The temp was almost identical to the race of 2015.   Cool temps with a light breeze.  Cheryl thought she would have to wear additional layers to stay warm, but at the last minute, she switched to shorts.   I even offered to take her light jacket from her at mile 2,  But she kept it tied around her waist.
The Musket Brigade prepares

Cheryl finds her spot

Running with the crowd!
Giving "High-Fives" to kids!
The Lincoln Half Marathon conditioned  me in that I was able to catch her at several points during the race.  Most races are not like that.  (Example: Boston)  Being a small-ish race, the spectator crowd does not get in the way too much and you are able to pick your "Race horse" out of the stampede fairly easily.
Mile 2 sprints by!

Another Abe Runner!

Mile 7.   Time to kick it!
At mile 7, I informed Cheryl that she was #20 in the female group.   I had no idea ... I mean, I knew instinctively that this would motivate her to try harder.  That is my job after all... To make her a the best running machine a man like myself could brag about to total strangers.   It did not take long for Cheryl's competitive juices to kick in. Similar to dropping a nitro tablet into the gas tank.  Vroom!

Rounding Corner towards the Finish!

One more Female to Beat!

Will she do it?
Nope!   #17 sprints ahead at the last minute.
I believe this was the first time Cheryl ever came in at the exact time I predicted.   Normally she is either earlier or later.  Her finishing time was 1:43:18.  Average pace was 7:53.   She was 18th over all female and took the 2nd place in her age group.   (Out of 95 women for that group.) It was a good thing I was there to add the needed motivation so she could achieve greatness.   Yep!   I'm pretty important...
                She's a WINNER!              

2nd Place Female!   On a GROWLER trophy!

Best of all:   She won a growler!   For Beer!   Good Job Honey!
....So ah,  When can we use it?

President Abe Shaking hands.  
Beer and Donuts!
After the race and hand shake with Uncle Abe,   Cheryl and I grabbed a free beer and Krispy Creme Donut.   Nothing says "Job well done!" better than a beer and donut!    We both had nothing to eat that morning;  so the food was greedily consumed and the beer went right to both of our heads.   Cheryl got a little more "Happy" than I did...perhaps because she was dehydrated.
Lots of Doggies this year!
  The beer was a local brew that has not found its retail market yet.   In other words:  If you were not local, there would be no way to purchase any and bring it home.   Ah well. It was good to sample.  I enjoyed the Wheat beer while Cheryl had the Hoppy Pale Ale  Both were awesome!.

Who's that handsome bald guy?
So that is all for now.   We arrived home just in time to keep our cat from destroying our most prized possessions.  Cheryl gained another medal;   A second place growler trophy; we ate donuts; drank beer and arrived home safe and sound.   What more can anyone ask for.   We missed the opportunity to take a picture with Abe and Mary Todd this year, but we already have one on the fridge from 2015.  The weather was sunny and warmed up as the afternoon progressed. And, thanks to me,  Cheryl is even happy with her mark that race as one of the reliable "good ones" on the list of races.  If things allow, I would not mind making that a tradition in the upcoming years.  We shall have to see

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