Monday, August 22, 2011

2011 Hottest Half Marathon, Now with More Gummy Bears, Ice, and BEES!

2010 Hottest Half Marathon had been interesting. I cheered at the race, brought gummy bears and ice to hand out to tired runners, ran out very early of both, and then I spent the rest of the rest triaging runners who were suffering from heat exhaustion and dehydration because of lack of water on the course by the race. It was not a lot of fun, and a little scary.

Shannon and I on the left (cheerers, Greg unpictured was a fellow cheerer who
took this pic) with good friends Fiona, Corina, and Marci.
Flash forward to last weekend's 2011 Hottest Half Marathon. This was WAY more fun! I considered what I had brought last year and wanted to make sure I had enough ice and gummy bears for all of the runners. So I stocked up. Cashier at Walmart wanted to understand the insanity when I paid for several foil pans and EIGHTEEN pounds of gummy bears.

5:30 am the next morning, race day, I stopped at the gas station and thankfully the attendants helped me carry out the 120 pounds of ice I was buying. I had also stocked the car with a blanket, a 2 1/2 gallon water jug, and some cups, just in case there were any water supply problems at the race again. Here's what 120 pounds of ice in a car trunk looks like:

6:30 am, Shannon and I met up at the cheering spot, about 11 miles into the race (also 2.5 miles out on the course). It was such a humid morning, and I wasn't feeling the best with the cold I had, but we did about 5.3 miles. We had gone out too far and had to sprint the last half-mile to a mile.

But we got back in time to see a lot of friends run by and to pass Lesley a San Francisco Marathon sweatband that she wanted for the race.

Then, Greg and his three little girls (ages 7, 6, and 3) arrived to help cheer wife/mommy Fiona. We set up a table, filled a couple pans with gummy bears, and another couple with ice. Then, the bees arrived!

Big bees were after the gummy bears. Greg ended up having to serve as Ninja Bee Killer for all of us shrieking women and girls. He had a plastic bag filled with the empty ice bags to wallop bees once they landed on the table or in the gummy bear pans. The girls would help cheer now and then. It would be "Ice and Gummy bears!" But occasionally it became "Ice and Gummy bears... and Bees!" And Shannon and I would shush them, "Don't say that!" And occasionally, Greg would swat dead a bee in the gummy bear pan as a runner came up, and as he fished the dead bee out by its wings, we'd say, "Um, get a gummy bear from the other pan!"

We were able to see lots of runner friends (or "Frunner" as Corina calls them) come by. But the strangers' reactions were hilarious. The occasional "Are those for us?" No, we just like to set up gummy bears and ice on the edge of the trail right at mile 11 of a big race. :-) We'd advise the women to stuff the ice in their sports bra. Many would go for it, and they'd gasp and laugh, but man, I've been there, and it really does work! One guy seemed really befuddled and asked, in regard to the ice, "What do I do with this?" LOL. We spewed out like 10 different ideas. But golly, it's 90-something degrees, 11 miles into a half marathon, I'm sure you can come up with something!

The awards for friends happiest to see us, in no particular order...

Elaine - "Glory Be To Gummy Bears"

Marcie - "Man, I Love Me Some Ice"

Marci, Corina, and Fiona - GANG SIGNS. Corina was "Mansfield, Representin'". SMH.

Derek - Always a smile on his face! He makes it look easy, even when it isn't!

Michelle K. - That smile says, "Thanks for deleting the pic where I was actively stuffing the gummy bear in my mouth." LOL. And yes, there was, and yes, I did.

Erik K. - His wife Michelle had come up about 5 minutes before him. And while I overhear Greg telling Erik Michelle had just come through while I'm throwing out some empty ice bags, I return to tell Erik that Michelle had passed like a half hour ago so he might as well take his sweet time and just walk it in. Can you tell I'm part of #TeamMK? :-)


  1. I saw the gummy bears and ice!! I forget that NTX runners were going to be out there!! You guys are great!! I know that was alot of work but everyone really appreciates yall!!! Thanks!!

  2. Yep last year, I was part of the group that missed out on the gummy bear extravaganza. This year....I just wanted to make it to the gummy table and I DID!!! YES!! and yes I was praising the sun god for allowing me the plentiful gummy bounty! Oh, how NTX Runners saved me at mile 11! Thank you for the cold boost in my sports bra and belly!! =)