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Finishing under the wing – Air Force Half Marathon!

September 25, 2014

Lifetime #34, 2014 #9, States 6, Countries 2

There is nothing like coming down the finish chute under the giant wing of a C-17. It was awesome!

The Boeing Company provided some employees a race bib to the event. Had to get myself there, but what a trip it was!

Flew into Detroit,  rented a car, stayed overnight at the Hotel St. Regis with other Boeing friends.Hotel St Regis

Smokestack in Detroit

The next morning I drove four hours to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Fairborn, Ohio, checked into the Holiday Inn, and then went to the expo to pick up my bib and other goodies!

The expo was full of stuff to buy – I finally replaced my in-case-of-emergency dog tags. My old ones had my dad’s name on them as the point-of-contact, but since he died I needed new ones. Bought a new headband I fell in love with (see my headband  in picture below) – best one I have found yet. Called One Up Bands, thank goodness you can get them online.

At the Air Foce Marathon expo

Picked up my bib, got back to the Boeing building to pick up my Boeing shirt and listen to a great talk by Dr. Mark Cucuzella. He is a proponent of natural running, and has a Natural Principles of Running class for the marathon. He also eschews orthotics, statins, sugar, and thinks using a stand up desk at work extends our lives. Since I think the same way, I loved his talk.

Boeing shirt!But I loved the Boeing shirt the most!

AF MuseumPasta dinner was in one of the hangars of the National Air Force Museum.

Pasta dinner in the AF Museum hangar

Plane in the AF MuseumGrabbed two chocolate chip cookies for later. Sat at a table with four smart and clean cut and accomplished young Air Force men – our country is in good hands if there are a lot of them! They were specially chosen to run the half marathon and they expected to finish in 1:30. I can’t imagine what that time would look like!

Wandered through the museum.

Plane in AF MuseumSuch an amazing place, with the many old planes and the deep presence of history. Didn’t spend enough time and will return.

Plane in AF Museum

Plane in AF Museum

Bob Hope

Race morning up early, met my friends, and drove to the parking area. Boeing gave us parking passes and that made it easier. Met other Boeing runners for a picture.

My friends were doing the marathon so they started an hour before me. Then it was GO time for me.

Go  Time for me

The cloud cover dissipated shortly after the race started, so for me the race was all about the managing that heat. I poured water liberally all over me at each water station, went a bit slower, and finished in my normal time.

Water Station

There were 15,000 people (the race sold out last July) and I had to be mindful of race etiquette, especially when we met up again with the marathoners with 4 miles to go. I was in no danger of being alone on the course!

I started the race wearing the long sleeve shirt from the Utah race last weekend with my Boeing tank underneath.Before Race

At the mile 10 water station I took it off and went the rest of the way in my Boeing tank.

FinishI loved being able to represent the Pacific Northwest for Boeing.

Official race photo

After I crossed the finish line, I ate pizza and my two saved chocolate chip cookies, had a massage, and met up with my friends. So much fun!!!


Friends Lorinda, Stephanie, Patti, and Steven. We are thanking Boeing!

After a shower at the hotel, drove four hours to Davison, Michigan, where early Sunday morning I was elated to reconnect with five first cousins and an aunt and uncle I have not seen for 50 years.

Piske/Peterson CousinsOne of my cousins gave me a packet of Michigan races to entice me to come back. It was so much fun. Nice to know I have a place to stay when I do Michigan!


By the Way

Drivers in Michigan and Ohio are polite, know how to merge, stay in the right lane unless passing, and go 75 on the freeway without a problem. Made me realize that we in the Northwest may need driving lessons.

DTW sign

Drove to Detroit and flew home – during the Seahawks game!!! The pilot told us the score, though. Go Seahawks!

tailNext half marathon is Vancouver, British Columbia in October.

  1. Way to go Cathy!

  2. Dave Culp permalink

    Great review of your trip. Know you really enjoyed yourself. You look so happy, you made me smile!
    Know you love to run!

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