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Ghost of Bellevue – A few tears and a deer

June 29, 2015

Lifetime 40, 2015 3, States 6, Countries 4

It is 6 am in Bellevue, WA, the big city across the lake from Seattle.

There are 10 people, mostly Marathon Maniacs, at the start line, which is a chalk line on the sidewalk. I am the only one doing the half marathon. The RD let me start an hour earlier than the half marathon start – I am concerned about the predicted heat and want to finish. I have assured him I am self-sufficient, and if it comes to the worst I can just Uber my way back to my car. (A girlfriend joked I could fill a rolling suitcase with all I carry, but since I know I am going to be out there longer than most people I like to know I can survive anything!)

So off we go! It is quiet on the streets as I try to run with the group and then, not more than 30 steps into the race, my carefully laminated course maps (one for each mile!) fall out of my vest pocket onto the street. As I stop to pick them up I realize that I hadn’t quite thought this out  – 13 large index cards that obviously don’t stay in my pocket and I have nowhere to put them – but the only markers we have to follow are white arrows chalked on the sidewalk and what if I get lost?

I pick them up and carry them a few more steps, watch the group disappear around the first corner, and I start to cry.

What the hell am I doing at 6 am on a Sunday morning in downtown Bellevue dressed in my survival clothes, covered in zinc oxide, ready to walk/run 13.1 miles? There isn’t even a medal at the end!

I wipe the tears and keep on moving and presto! I see the first white arrow. I stuff all 13 maps down my front. I think I will just do a couple of miles, maybe three, maybe four, and then I can just Uber back.

Two miles in (according to map 2!) I find myself on a bridge shaded by trees. I notice a small white car going 1 mile an hour – behind an adult doe who was just trotting along the road. A deer was the last thing I expected to see on the city street. She looked at me and somehow I felt immensely better. By the time I got my phone out to take a picture she had scampered down the hill and was gone.

So I used my phone to navigate the next few miles, and noticed my Uber app said a driver could be there in seven minutes.

Took me three hours and 45 minutes, but I finished, along with 41 other people. That is when I remember why I was standing at the chalk line on a Bellevue sidewalk at 6 am on Sunday.

Epilogue – Small races have their charm and this one was fun. I got to see the city in a way I hadn’t. The entry fee was $14.00. Discovering the bottle of water labeled Ghost Maniacs sitting next to a light pole was great timing – my bandanna needed soaking. Within 10 minutes of my finish the rain just poured down. Rather be hot than wet!

One Comment
  1. ron hoppe permalink

    Your journey is never dull. There never has been any quit in you. Pretty special.

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