Tuesday, December 2, 2008

How much fun is watching a marathon?

Greetings legions of loyal blog readers. It has been a very long time since my last post, though the observant among you may have noticed a rare 5 star book appeared on my bookshelf.

Today I am reporting on the great rock and roll marathon. For many weeks Kathryn pestered me into coming along to watch her run the Seattle marathon. I wasn't immediately convinced. What with it being Thanksgiving in America, the long border lineups seemed to imply a weekend of 10 hours of driving, wandering around an urban centre, and then watching a marathon. In other words, not fun. But somehow I changed my mind and joined in, and boy am I ever glad I did. The weekend was more fun than a barrel of rabbits.

The rabbits: Me, Christian, Christine, Kathryn, and Mark

The lineup at the border was atrocious as predicted. Seeing the lineup at the Peace Arch and realising it would take at least 2 hours to get through, I attempted to turn around and head to the alternate crossing. Unfortunately, a series of wrong turns left me trapped in the Duty Free parking lot facing severe tire damage if I did anything but head into the border line.

And so it was that we partied in the car in line at the border; trading stories, listening to music, and eating ferrero rocher. Perhaps we had the music up too loud, for when the line lurched forward, I found the car battery completely flat. Luckily we rolled down the hill, so as not to lose our place in line, and managed to jump-start the car in under 2 minutes flat. Thankyou Eddy for selling me a car complete with jumper cables. Unfortunately, after we got through the border half an hour later, we had completely forgotten about the flat battery incident. We stopped at a gas station 1/4km on the other side of the border, filled up the car and found ourselves unable to start the car again. Luckily, another kind family offered us a boost. More thankyou ferrero rochers were distributed.

Well, enough of this chronological story telling. Let's skip ahead to the good stuff (and coincidentally, skip right past that incident of me driving down the left lane of a road, that was not, as it turned out, a one-way street.)

Saturday's highlight was the experience music project , a rock and roll museum as it were. After a quick glance at the museum exhibits, we headed upstairs to play around in the sound lab, which included incredible practice rooms hooked up with drum kits, electric guitars, basses, acoustic guitars, pianos, and maracas.

Turns out Christian was a very capable drummer, which made the whole jam session come alive. Our rendition of wild thing was inspired by John Lennon's historic thrashed vocals rendition of twist and shout blended with the magical Pixies cover of wild honey pie. We had so much fun you couldn't wipe the smile off our faces with a Swiffer. I for one can't wait to play with a live drummer again. Perhaps it's time to search for studio space in Vancouver.

Once again, we'll skip ahead past a highly unusual pasta dinner at a posh Italian restaurant that strangely sported a cabaret of show tunes and voluptuous stripping, to the marathon itself. At a bright and early 6am, we all went to see Mark off for the start of his half-marathon, and give a good cheer to Kathryn and Christian who would be departing 45 minutes later for the full marathon. My original intention was to cut Mark off at the 8 mile mark and run the last 5 miles with him. Unfortunately, I got extremely lost wandering through Seattle, and when I finally found the marathon course again, he was long gone. I'm not sure I would have caught up to him anyway, as he finished his 20km in a blistering 2 hours 14 minutes. Instead, I waited on the side of the road for a few hours, till Kathryn wandered by.

Now I had been hoping that Kathryn would limp up, with severe cramps, having hit the wall, and I could encourage her to push on and finish the marathon. To my horror, she rounded the corner at high speed, glowing with the runner's high. I quickly tried to ramp up my speed, and catch up with her. Now, as some of you may know, before Sunday, I had never run further than 1 continuous kilometer in my life, so I was somewhat dubious of Kathryn's plan that I would run beside her telling stories for 8 km to distract her from her tiredness. But Kathryn's incredible surge of energy was very infectious. We were passing people like they were standing still which made the running very fun. To my surprise, I stuck with her to the bitter end. Kathryn polished off the marathon in a swift 4 hours 9 minutes.

No they're not chocolate. Those marathon medals are solid gold.

You can see the 4 star Seattle Pacific hotel where we stayed in the background of the photo. And we finally kissed Christian's head for luck, and good times were had by all.

1 comment:

Nature Nerd said...

OMG, I can't believe you've actually made me sad to have missed sitting in a border line up to go watch people run. Kathryn and Mark make everything fun.
That photo of you guys as a band is SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!