Saturday morning started early. Like 5:00 early. But I was ready to get the half-marathon over with do this thing. Well, ready as I'd ever be.
The sky looked ominous and there were threats of severe thunderstorms, hail, and even a tornado. If you heard about the tornado that just tore through our base in South Africa, you can imagine some of my conversations with God.
Let me just say, there were quite a few You've gotta be kidding me's.
But the rain held off. Mostly.
My sweet friend Tracee flew into town to do the race with me so that I wouldn't have to bring up the rear all on my own. She's amazing like that.
We alternated running and walking. Which translates to mostly walking, but running as much as I could on the straights and downhills.
It was hard. And long.
But together, we made 13.1 miles a dang good time.
We laughed a lot. There is some seriously good people-watching in a crowd of 32,000 marathoners.
Somewhere around the 12-mile marker, it started to rain.
A policeman shouted that the huge storm was "imminent" and they'd possibly force an evacuation in fifteen minutes. Tracee and I looked at each other and immediately picked up our pace.
There was no way we were gonna be that close to the end and not finish.
So we hauled. Well, as much as I could haul.
With each turn and uphill (of which there were far too many!), the rain came down harder and harder. When the finish line finally came into view, we straight up sprinted through pouring rain and bolts of lightning.
Crossing that finish line felt like such sweet victory.
We stood there a long time, hugging each other tightly in the torrential downpour. While trying to catch our breath.
It's a moment I won't quickly forget.
But I've got a medal to remind me in case I do...