The Rock and Roll San Antonio marathon and half marathon was an excellent day for me and hopefully all the participants. It was the culmination of months of hard work and training for many athletes. The day started out at 6 am with a trip downtown. Lucky for me, I had special parking near the Alamodome since I was coaching.
I took a few runners to the start line with butterflies in my stomach. I was nervous for all the other runners, not myself. I knew the training program was “spot on” for all who followed it. We weaved our way through the thousands of people, around the port-a-potties, and around the corner to the corral we needed to be at.
WOW! I was again overwhelmed with all the people even though I knew how many people had registered, nearly 30,000. Excitement grew as the start time approached. We finally arrived at the start line and began to weave our way between the runners and walkers who were making their way to the finish. I was able to run with DetermiNation participants, friends, and strangers for several hours.
As I was near the finish (about a mile and a half away) I saw one of the athletes I coach run past with a blank stare. He was aiming to qualify for the Boston Marathon with a 3 hour 10 minute time limit. He was nearly dead on pace, but looking like he might be in danger of slowing down. I encouraged him in to a close call finish. To the med tent we went, then back out for more runners. I did this several times throughout the day helping people with blisters, sore knees, and just plain finishing even though the bodies were saying “NO”. Our exceptional team from the American Cancer Society and several volunteers were at the charity tent making sure runners were recovering and getting some good food. We could not have had such a phenomenal day without all the help. All the hard work, training, and time spent working with athletes was worth the experience. It was such a joy to see people from all different walks of life coming out to run their race, for whatever reason, cause or cure.