Sunday, July 20, 2014

Unofficial Event: Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon

Project TEAM JIM: Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon

Thursday, June 19th:

Although this race was not on my official schedule, I opted to go out to the Northwest coast to join Jim for the weekend. He had 8 days of work out there and planned to do the race over the weekend, even though he was still battling a torn calf muscle. He promised himself he would walk the entire race, even though he wasn't looking forward to doing so by himself, so I told him I'd fly out for a short trip to accompany him on the effort.

I had a full day of work in NC so I couldn't take an early flight, and thus my arrival in Seattle was 10:20pm Pacific Time (1:20am to my body clock). Despite the late hour, the last few moment of daylight were still hanging on! We landed on the edge of a thunderstorm which made for dramatic views from the plane:

To my great surprise, Jim took the train from downtown to meet me at baggage claim--I thought I'd have to take the train on my own to the hotel. Here's what I saw when I descended via the escalator:
Thanks, Jim, for the escort into town!

Jim is making great use of the battery pack that Dad
gave him for Christmas. Thanks, Dad, these are fantastic!
From the train station, we still had about 3 blocks to walk back to the hotel...I found myself being ever more grateful that I didn't have to take this midnight trek on my own...

Friday, June 20th:

For the sake of getting this blog posted before I run my next race (the Chicago Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon) I am opting to post the photos with very minimal commentary. I know this is cheating, but since this race wasn't an official race anyway, I'm deciding I can get away with this.

Up early on Friday to hit the Expo before Jim
had to go to work for the day.

I can't resist silly photo ops, and I'm showing off
my CMTA race gear.

Jim bonds with the Seattle Seahawks...

"He followed me home, Beth...can I keep him?"

A friendly face! George snuck up on us as we
were heading to the Expo.

A brief stopoff in what is described as "Seattle's Most Boring Museum": The details of the amazing engineering feat of digging the Alaskan Way Viaduct tunnel. I won't cover everything here, but if you're in Seattle I highly recommend this! Here's a brief intro, followed by a few of the photos I took:

Now for some coffee before the Expo opens... we have just enough time to make it to Pike Place and back...

"Imagine seeing you here!" We find Joe Harris and
discover he has the same idea we did; coffee then Expo.

Did I say just coffee? After our early morning start, the coffee wasn't enough. We grabbed a quick bite since it was still just 7:30am...and THEN we made it to the Expo:

Merle sighting!!

Emily sighting!!

Joe autographs the photo of David and himself
in Emily's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Jewelry booth.

And Jim does the same....

And I follow suit....

More George!

Kamika sighting!

Dan Evans sighting!

Jim C. and Shaun sighting! From here, Jim went on to his
appointments for the day, and I went back to the hotel to
put in my 8 hours of work via phone and computer.

Saturday, June 21st: RACE DAY!!

With only 4 hours of sleep on Thursday night, it was easy to get to sleep last night by 8:00pm. I felt rested when my 5:00am alarm went off and was ready to walk the Half Marathon with Jim. Off we went to meet Ron and Susan Carino at their hotel near the race start.
On our 2 mile walk to the race start, we run into Shaun as he's
finishing up the sound system set-up.

Maria, this is for you! (My sister, Maria, works at Johns Hopkins
in a partner project with this foundation).

Carinos sighting!

Another Kamika sighting!

Jesus sighting!

So great to be back with our Gypsy friends!

Can't resist another silly photo op...

Selfies with gypsies (Susan, Jim, Ron, Al, me and Caryn)

The Magnificent 7 (and one yellow photo-bomber) are
reunited in Seattle after last being together in our San Antonio
to Las Vegas "Double Double" adventure.
What a wonderful gift: our gypsy friends told Jim that they weren't going to let him walk alone. They pledged to walk with him the entire way. Kamika was the only exception...he had a plane to catch so he had to go as fast as he could to make sure he didn't miss the flight. We were able to spend the first few miles with him before he stepped up his pace...but the rest of us stuck together. Here are some photo highlights:

I'll let you put this together, but here's the crew waiting for Jim
to finish something detailed in the previous 2 photos...

We did it!

Magnificent 7-minus-1 !
Post race sustenance:

Showered and changed, I was determined to make the most of the day before Jim took me back to the airport to catch the red-eye flight back home...

These shots are views from the Ferris Wheel, which
I finally got to ride!

The medal!
I know, I know... I should have provided more details. I will summarize by saying this was such a good decision--to make the short (long!) trip to Seattle to participate in the race with Jim. It was incredibly special to spend such quality time with great friends, who out of the goodness in their hearts and their generosity of spirit, chose to support Jim along the route. I know I speak for everyone when I say that a great time was had by all. 

To my gypsy friends everywhere, I love you guys!!

See you in Chicago!!!