Marathon Finishers

The morning was crisp and cold at 4:30 a.m. when Dan drove Chris & Meryl and friends Ish and Daizsha to the start of the California International Marathon in Folsom. I stayed home to take care of animals but showed up for the finish at the capitol in Sacramento. dsc_0339

Dan caught all three looking cheerful at Mile 5.

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He and Daizsha found them again at Mile 17.

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They had separated by this time. Meryl points out that the Sacramento Marathon is NOT flat, even though everyone says it is.

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There is Meryl at Mile 26. Only 2/10 mile to go.

I got to the finish about an hour before our first runner came in. I don’t know anyone in this collection of photos but they caught my eye.  These were all taken as the runners turn the last corner and head to the finish line which was behind me. Top left to right and then down: A “guide” running with a visually impaired runner, a pacer (the clock said 3:23 as he crossed the line–amazing), the women’s finish line with the 3:28 pacer crossing the line, two guides with another visually impaired runner, women’s finish line at 3:35 (Boston marathon qualifying time), a dad who brought his young son across the finish line with him, a flag runner, a flag wearer, runner promoting the Sacramento soccer team.

I started to worry that maybe I’d missed Chris because I was at times distracted by the very impressive police horses. (Dan failed similarly at his pit crew duties at one event when he was distracted by airplanes overhead.)

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But there he was, running a very respectable pace considering that he had done little training for this one.

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This was Chris’ seventh marathon…

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…two of which were at the end of Ironman triathlons.

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Spectators can follow their athletes (on the other side of the fence)…dsc_4546

…to waiting family and friends.

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We worked our way through the throngs of people to the women’s finish  chute in time to catch Meryl…

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…finishing her first marathon.

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Ish was close behind her but on the men’s side so I missed his finish. This was his first marathon also.dsc_4569

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Walking back to the cars we were passed by the magnificent police horses. I didn’t realize that they were using draft horses for police work. Can you tell how large that bay horse is from the stirrup position of the rider. I can always be distracted by horses!

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Four BFF’s heading back to the car and looking forward to In & Out burgers.

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Dan and I were in our car and were stopped on the way out of Sacramento by the drawbridge. I’ve never seen this one in the up position with the whole roadway up in the air!

I guess that would be one reason that the marathon isn’t routed over the bridge.

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