I already went into detail about my Halloweekend, but information about the Marine Corps Marathon from the weekend prior had been sitting half done in my drafts. Whoops! We flew out to Washington D.C. on a Friday and were back the following Monday afternoon. We didn’t have near enough time to see all of the things we wanted to see or go to all of the places that we wanted to go, namely because we needed to stay rested prior to the race and Mark was definitely exhausted after the race as well.
Mark’s racked up quite a bit of miles with United Airlines, so we were able to use his status to same-day change our Friday flight to an earlier one. For us, that meant 3 more hours at the beginning of our trip! We did some sightseeing upon arrival, and I did a bit more while in transition from one marathon spectating spot to another. Here are a couple shots:
This was Mark’s 10th full marathon, the 9th that I was there for, and the 7th that I spectated at (other times, I was racing too) Whenever there are bridges involved in a course map, we get concerned about whether or not I’ll be able to keep up with the planned cheer spots and the accessibility of the entire course. It would be a real bummer if I was stuck on the other side of a river while he’s finishing the race, let me tell you.
Right after the gun went off–or in this case, the paratroopers reached land, the Ospreys flew overhead and what sounded like a cannon went off– I headed right over to the nearest bridge. (The Marines do it big!) During our sightseeing on Friday, I noticed they have a bike share program in D.C.. When Tobias and I spectated at the Minneapolis Marathon a couple of years ago, we rented a bike and a trailer from a local shop, and followed him throughout much of the race. It was too cold for Tobias and he spent the whole time looking at my iPhone, but it was a MUCH funner way to see the cities, the race, and to encourage Mark than standing in one spot with an anxious four year old. I digress.
I had a lot of time before he was going to reach the mile that I was already at once I crossed the bridge, so I was able to check out a few more sites at the National Mall and The White House. The White House was underwhelming at the distance that people at the street are able to view it. You see hundreds of photos of what it looks like throughout your life, then you see it off in the horizon behind a fence and a huge courtyard….it’s easier to see in the photos. It’s very regal, though. The tourists surrounding and I both looked like peons next to it. The architecture of D.C. is all very regal, actually. The Downtown is unlike any other I’ve seen stateside. It was designed by Frenchman Pierre L’Enfant, and features tons of roundabouts, which were a bit difficult to get a grasp on when we didn’t know where we were going.
I ended up seeing Mark at several points, the race was very spectator friendly and the bike share ended up getting in the way (The bike was HUGE!) a bit more than I liked, and got me to my destinations a little too quickly. Not sure I’ll be doing that again. Mark really enjoyed the race, although it was his slowest ever, and he wants to have a do-over one day.
A few more shots:
Edit- I forgot to show his medal! Medals are one of my favorite parts of marathon racing. Here’s the hunk of metal he received: