Captain Grose's Marathon pages

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MARATHONERS, START YOUR ENGINES

 

 
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THE 2002 BIG SUR INTENATIONAL MARATHON
April 28, 2002


The staging area to the Big Sur Marathon was a mixture of excitement and apprehension. The sea of humanity was breath-taking as we all made our last minute preparations that, if you are a runner, will understand and if your not, will think we have somehow been transported back to the stone age.

First of all, there is no shame nor sexuality for a pre-race runner. People are talking openly about the band-aids they are putting on their nipples. They are carrying on perfectly normal conversations while taking handfuls of Vaseline and thrusting their hands down their shorts. Your hear a calliope of  conversations involving gastrointestinal updates, restroom experiences, menstruation status, and any number of medical situations that normally are reserved for family doctors.

After getting properly prepped for the big race and dropping off our sweats bag (an event that unexpectedly drove home the “point of no return” reality for me), we headed to the start line where we edged our way in the crowd a couple of hundred yards back. When you have a few thousand people, the “start line” is more of a “start crowd” and the line only serves as a point you cross a few minutes after the starting pistol sounds.

Nervously waiting for the beginning of the race, I hopped up and down and chatted with those around me. There is nothing quite like the camaraderie you feel at the beginning of a race, being just one part of the larger animal that is the marathon crowd ready to begin the race. The pleas from the race officials to scoot back finally gave way to the singing of the National Anthem which was a beautiful rendition that silenced the crowd until the end when they joined in the singing. So many beautiful moments on this day of fun.

After the National Anthem was completed, 12 white doves were released which normally would have been a touching moment but for some reason struck me as funny as they flew every which way in apparent confusion. I envisioned the conversation went something like “Hey, Bill, where the Hell are we?” “Got me, Bob, I was just flying around the city and suddenly I’m here in the mountains. Look at all those people….”

 “BANG!” The race began and the cheers exploded. The crowd inched forward and I was surprised how quickly the forward motion got back to where I was. The thought struck me , “God help those that trip at this point because love or no love, camaraderie or no camaraderie, if you went down you were screwed.”

As we started forward, someone must have ran into the pole that held the “Starting Line”  banner because the pole swayed and then came crashing inward into the crown. The banner dipped and it too fell into the crowd but nothing was going to dampen the spirit of the runners. They just held it up as they passed and to tell you the truth, it was kind of neat to touch the starting banner and you went under it, symbolically high-fiving the beginning of the race.

Thus, the 2002 Big Sur International Marathon began.


The stories:
THANK YOU, WHOEVER YOU WERE
COMING IN FULL
MARATHONERS, START YOUR ENGINES
CRAMP IN A MINOR

The pictures:
My pics
Official pics

How it all started...

2000 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2001 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2002 Big Sur International Marathon
2002 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2002 Bishop 50-mile Ultra-Marathon

Email -- jdgrose115@polyglut.net
Web -- http://members.tripod.com/~jdgrose115/

Please help me keep this site going...