Oh hi! I’m Jessie Hethcoat, RLAM intern, editorial assistant, and “mothers’ helper.” For those of you that don’t know already, Sarah and Dimity got so busy this summer and fall that they needed some extra help – which brought me, college student, into the picture. I’m a junior English major at University of Portland, and I enjoy doing things that Sarah likes to make fun of me for, like reading Real Simple magazine and leaving Golden Girls DVDs at her house (long story, but I'm a big Betty White fan). I exercise only casually because of sports-induced asthma, but I’m feeling an inevitable push towards a more demanding regimen. Being surrounded by all these mother-runners is getting a little too inspiring.
But that’s enough about me. Let’s talk about the Portland Marathon and the awesome picture I got of Sarah. I set up camp on Willamette Blvd, across the street from my campus and mile 18-19 of the big 26.2’er. To me, a non-runner, this sounds like a good point in the race to crawl into a ball and start crying, especially when you consider it poured the whole time, but I saw nothing of the sort, either from the spectators, who were sporting umbrellas and heavy duty rain coats, or the athletes. The runners powered through the race while drenched from the weather. Still, I'll be honest: Running 26.2 miles in the Portland rain sounded to me about as appetizing to me as brussel sprouts do to your 7-year-old.
Until I saw it.
I joined a crowd of students across from the water/gummy bear station and joined the cheering. I saw all kinds of runners, including a father with a jogging stroller paced at 3:10 (!), barefoot people, people in faerie costumes, and so forth. While I was watching, camera in hand looking for Sarah, someone in the crowd asked me if I was watching for someone. “My… um… boss,” I said. “Oh… that’s nice of you I guess,” she said. So looking like a total schmoozer, I waited to see the purple shirted Sarah in a whole new light.
I was starting to zone out on the mobs of running champs zooming by me, when there she was – Champy, in the flesh, beaming. She whooshed by me, but I managed to get her picture and a “WOOO SARAH!” in. I got emotional after seeing her make it look so easy. There’s something very evocative about marathons, and the emotion is even stronger when you spot someone you know and care about putting their body to the ultimate test – and succeeding.
And she has THREE kids! Mamas, you are amazing! It was a very visceral experience to see how triumphant a moment it was for each runner. I congratulate Sarah and all of you mother-runners that got out there and ran the 26.2 today. You are all truly badass.
Sarah's official time was 3:59:54, meaning she qualified for Boston. She tells me she's "jazzed." What about you gals? How'd your runs go today?