Saturday, July 17, 2010

Race Details for Run for Grub Groupies

This week, Run for Grub officially hit its fundraising goal and raised enough money to cover the cost of workshops for four writers who want to try a Grub Street class for the first time (or four current Grub Street students who want to try a class in a genre that's new to them). In a digital-age version of pinch me, I keep calling up just so I can blink at the full thermometer up top.

Yup, I think. We're still at 100 percent!

But as much as I lost my mind when I reached the goal (a certain Grub Street board member whose donation happened to put me over the edge can attest that our Facebook chat devolved to digital squealing on my part at the exact moment I knew it was true), I'm currently gobsmacked by the number of people who are planning to cheer me on come race day. Even after I remind them that my target finishing time is somewhere between 5 and 6 hours, they grin. Some of them are gonna be there to see me off; others will show up at the end of their night to see me finish. And a few swear that if I can run for that length of time watching me run is the least they can do.

I'm honored that so many people want to share in the last leg of this crazy pavement pounding journey of mine, but I have to warn you that I'm pretty much guaranteed to be in tears when (when!) I finish (though it's too early to say whether those tears will be of joy, of pain, or some combination therein). So as long as you can resist the temptation to bellow "there's no crying in marathon running!" at me after I cross the finish line, I'm happy to have you on the sidelines cheering me on.

Here are the details:

Race: 24 Hour Around the Lake

Start time: 7 p.m., Friday, July 30

Duration: Last year's female marathon winner did the race in 3:05:27. Clearly she's not nearly as pokey a little puppy as I am. I'm not sure how long it's going to take me given that I slow and slow and slow with every mile. My best guess is that I'll take between 5.5 and 6 hours to finish. Because that's the goal, here. Finishing.

Location: The race course goes around (and around and around and around and around and around and around and around) Lake Quannapowitt* in Wakefield, MA. This is good news for spectators because it means that you can stay right where you are and let me pass (and pass and pass and pass and pass and pass and pass and pass) you by. The race** starts and finishes at:
Lake Lord Wakefield Hotel
595 North Avenue
Wakefield, MA 01880

How's the spectator thing gonna work exactly: Honestly, I don't know. I know. Someone I babysat for when I was younger is planning on making posters, a runner friend is threatening to run beside me during the last lap (despite my honest expectation that an old lady with a walker will be able to keep pace with me during my last lap), and my husband's planning on turning my race into a drinking game.

Yup, you heard me right.

The Lord Wakefield Hotel has a lounge attached. And given that the race starts and stops at the Lord Wakefield and that cheerleading duties (namely positive chatter and the hand off of a fresh water bottle) will only last at most a minute every roughly 35-40 minutes, Mike is threatening to drink between laps effectively turning my marathon into a drinking game that I endorse as long as he a) doesn't miss me passing by in a given lap and b) understands that I'm the only one of us who has a fair claim on needing to be held up at the end of the night.

If you're thinking about going, comment on the blog or send me an email so I can keep watch. I'll make sure Mike wears something that helps him stick out. Perhaps I'll give him a Grub T-shirt or something....

Catherine Elcik is running her first marathon to raise money for a scholarship fund for Grub Street, Inc, an independent writing center in Boston, MA.

* Is it just be or does this photo make the lake look awfully big to be run around 8 times, she said in a fit of pre-race uneasiness...

** I'm not digging the whole calling-it-a-race thing. I think it sets up unrealistic expectations. Basically I'm going out for a (very, very) long jog, and some other uber-fit yahoos are gonna be racing by me.

1 comment:

  1. The idea of sitting in the lounge with Mike sounds awfully appealing. Unfortunately, I (a) am on call and (b) take the kids to swim lessons at 8:30 on Sat morning. Oh wait, I'm not on call. Mark's friend Darren is stopping by that night. I'll see if I can come by for a couple laps.