I was chosen two months later as an official race ambassador and my journey with the Across the Bay 10K began. I was very excited to see this event as I never had the opportunity to walk across the Bay Bridge when it was an annual event with the state. Now, as a runner I would have the opportunity to run across the bridge! Actually, the bridge scares me at times but running across it would provide a different perspective. :)
I was able to register people for the 10K as a race ambassador while talking about my concerns of running the bridge (that fear of mine about the bridge and I wasn't the only one) while being involved in this inaugural race for Maryland.
The time finally arrived and I was off to Annapolis, Maryland for race weekend. I stayed at O'Callahan's hotel in historic Annapolis, was able to walk to many places and enjoyed the accommodations.
Friday during the day involved a Make it Count workshop with the Lilabean Foundation and race director, Dave McGillivray. Dave is one of the top race directors in the U.S., he directs the B.A.A. Boston Marathon and other iconic road races such as the New Balance Falmouth Road Race on Cape Cod, the Bellin Run in Green Bay and the TD Beach to Beacon 10K in Maine. He is considered a legend in the running world for his race management skills as well as his personal feats of endurance, including his groundbreaking run across the U.S. for charity in 1978. Dave also bought Boston people to help with the race-THANK YOU!
Friday evening there was a VIP reception. Sparrow Rogers, one of the race directors, spoke about the time involved in planning this race. Four charities were represented at this race: The Yellow Ribbon Fund, Bosom Buddies, Team in Training and Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Over a quarter of a million dollars was raised for these charities in this race. I made several new friends including one that I ran with during the 10K.
We had Appletinis on the Bay along with crab balls along with other wonderful food and drinks. Upon leaving, we received wonderful swag bags! Thank you to all the sponsors!
Saturday morning came. Breakfast was at Chick and Ruth's; what fun and a huge thank you to a coworker who told me about this restaurant. Then it was off to the Runners' Expo at the Navy Stadium and meet up with friends. The Runners' Expo was small and it was cold. I picked up my shirt and bib and bought a magnet for my car.
It was then off to meet my friend Ashley with her son Connor who was running in the Clearshark Shark Sprint kids race. It was so much fun to see the kids run around the Navy Stadium and the excitement on their faces! I don't know who had more fun-the kids, the parents or me! Thank you to Ashley and Connor for meeting me and sharing Connor's first run with me and John. Ashley recently told me that Connor asked when his next race is going to be; looks like we have a runner here!
I met several friends later in the day at Panera Bread to catch up and have lunch. Thank you to Jessica, Heather, Kim and Stephanie for meeting us. What a wonderful group of running friends I have; I am so blessed that you are with me on my running adventures!
Saturday evening consisted of the Race Ambassador reception at Hemingway's Restaurant. The view of the bridge from the restaurant was beautiful. What a wonderful time to meet my fellow ambassadors and the race directors. A huge THANK YOU to Sparrow and Peter for hosting us. I couldn't have asked for better race directors organizing this race to ensure the success for us, the runners, the spectators, the volunteers and everyone!
Dinner followed with wonderful seafood along with a perfect waitress followed by dessert; Smith Island Pumpkin Pie cake. This cake is absolutely amazing; you have to try one!
Sunday morning came way too early! As runners, we all know when that alarm goes off, it's cold and dark and we think why am I doing this again? :) I caught the bus from the Navy Stadium and was on my way!
At the VIP reception on Friday evening, I met a wonderful staff member from Senator Mikulski's office. Rachel sent me a text and we had agreed to meet at the Runner's Village. The view from the start line of the bridge was fantastic! I was so excited and couldn't wait to start! Thank you, Rachel for running with me!
I started the race at 7:19 am which was a half an hour earlier than my original time. It was thrilling to be a part of this inaugural race and I was ecstatic! The view from the bridge was amazing! To be a 185 feet above the Chesapeake Bay; I was thanking God for the beauty of the Bay along with the ability to be a part of all of this! I didn't have any fear running this bridge which surprised me. I think it was due to the amazing views!
One of my favorite things about running across the bridge was a sign stating that I was crossing onto the Eastern Shore; what fun it was to say that I was now in the Eastern Shore part of Maryland!
I had my best time for a 10K, made a PR while finishing this race! The medal was great along with a finisher shirt. I was met at the finish line by John and we were able to rest a bit in the VIP tent where I got coffee, quiche, water, juice and pastries. Finishers were given bananas, water, a bag with pretzels and bagels. There was food galore along with a beer garden at the finisher's village with several bands playing until 2 pm Sunday afternoon.
Coming back on the bus, everyone was so happy and excited to be a part of this race! Huge smiles, gratitude and happiness was abundant. I am extremely blessed to be part of this race having been an ambassador and I look forward to many more years of being involved in this venue!
A huge thank you to John, my wonderful love, who supported me throughout this weekend and was my official race photographer!
Again, a huge thank you to the race directors-Sparrow, Peter and Dave for allowing me to be a part of this! 10K, 6.2 miles, 20,000 runners, 4.35 miles of bridge and 185 feet above the water. I came, I ran and I beat the bridge!
I would love to hear about your experiences; please leave comments for me. Who's joining me next year? :)