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A funny thing happened on the way to the 2015 Savannah Rock n Roll marathon

Updated on June 5, 2017

The Savannah Striders, a local track club, met at 6 a.m. to take a pre-race group photo and discuss race strategy

Sherry Feathers and Pam Howe get into the spirit of the race an hour before dawn... no need to wear jackets this year.
Sherry Feathers and Pam Howe get into the spirit of the race an hour before dawn... no need to wear jackets this year. | Source

When over 1500 marathon runners were diverted from finishing the course, temperaments were hotter than the weather

When you live in the south, you expect the heat, but for the last four years running, the Savannah Rock n Roll Marathon and Half were run in cooler temperatures. Natives like to joke that you can experience all four seasons in two days in Savannah this time of year, so when the day of the race was predicted to be 84 degrees by noon, even the locals were a bit disappointed.

Ideal running conditions are in the forties and fifties, but for southern-borns, it is a bit nippy in the sixties. and seventies and eighties sound fine when you have trained all summer in 90 degree heat before sunrise! Still, it was a bit odd to arrive downtown in November, an hour or so before sunrise and not even need to wear a long sleeve shirt.

It was so foggy on the morning of the race that it was hard to read street signs from fifty feet away if your eyesight was good enough to read the signs to begin with. Locals arrived as early as five that morning to find parking spaces open on Broughton and parts west of Forsyth park where the race would end in a celebration with Rascal Flatts as the headlined band.

The Savannah Striders met at Outback Steakhouse at 6 a.m to have a group photo taken before wandering off to prayer groups in Reynolds Square or in search of portable toilets without long lines and with toilet paper still in them. It was one thing to shake dry for the women, but when you had to poop and there was no paper, it made for an uncomfortable situation. Little did we know then that this was just a harbinger of greater disappointments to come.

Waiting in the corrals for the race to begin. There were over 22 separate wave starts, so those in the back of the pack left much later than those in the front

The sixteen weeks leading up to my first faux marathon

Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have hoped to run a marathon, but after my second half marathon and second 25k ultra (about 15 and a half miles), I felt like I needed a challenge, so in mid-August I entered my first 50K ultra (roughly 31 miles) aptly titled - the Armadillo Broil in Richmond Hill, Georgia.

I confess I was not prepared for this race and by mile 20 my toes felt like they were on fire and my arches had outsourced themselves to the devil's lair. Despite being coveried in anti-blister cream, my feet still seemed a spark away from self combustion. My legs hurt so bad that by mile 23 I could only muster a fast walk, with leg cramps and chills and a worsening upset stomach, but managed to beat the clock coming in third from last place and barely able to move but too afraid to stop for fear my muscles would go on lock down and stop working entirely.

Still, after the pain had subsided, it occurred to me that if I could do thirty miles, I should be able to do 26.2 and when the opportunity to sign up for the 2015 Rock n Roll Marathon for $50 arose, I boldly jumped on the band wagon. I remember signing up at the tent outside Savannah Coffee Roasters on Sunday morning with less than three months to train. The man who took my completed entry form asked me, "so you want to sign up for the half, right?"

"No," I said, a bit miffed. "I am signing up for the full." That is what i circled on the signup sheet after all.

He looked at me as if I had made some mistake. Did I look that incapable of running a marathon? So, I was 56 and a little tubby around the middle. My shirt and shorts were as baggy as my eyes, but I could still cover some ground if needed. I could do this thing and yet when I told people my intent they looked at me as if I was delusional saying things like, "oh, that's nice", in that same voice you use when your six year old says she wants to grow up to be a princess or a Power Ranger.

Perhaps I was living a pipe dream, but I was going to smoke this baby as far as my lungs would take it and see where I landed.

Training runs with the Savannah Striders on River Street

Many runners had been training for months to run the Rock n Roll which hosts well over 20,000 runners in Savannah alone

Training for a half or full marathon requires a lot of pre-planning, especially if you do not run on a regular basis. Coaches recommend you add no more than one or two miles a week on your longest training runs, so if you were at seven miles like I was, that meant that by week three before the marathon I needed to be doing 20 mile training runs before starting to taper, doing no more than 1/3 of the miles you plan to run on race day. I had the third part down pat, it was the other two thirds part I had to worry about.

By the third week before I was blessed to run my last long run with a group of friends training for the half. We put in about 12.5 miles with another walking loop around Lake Mayer for about 13.3 miles total but I was still 6.7 short of my goal and felt bad about it all day. That night I got angry with myself and said, "It is still daylight and you can still do those other seven miles and so I did, though ended up walking at least a third of them, but at least at a brisk pace.

The next two weeks I felt sick on my stomach almost all the time and didn't know if it was nerves or illness, but on the day of the Expo, just two days before the race, I felt like I was applying for astronaut school and spent the whole day buzzing in a daze until I picked up my race packet and met for a final pep talk with Savannah Striders who gave some good advice and overall reminded us to have fun and be safe.

It was so foggy that taking pictures the morning of the race was almost impossible, but of course that didn't stop us!

Race day begins with a forecast of temperatures in the mid eighties by noon and no need of jackets that morning

Being raised in the south, I always found it silly when the weather forecasters went on about how "hot" it was when it was barely 80 or how we were having a cold front when the temperatures dipped into the fifties. I suppose it is all relative, but to me, running in seventy degree weather is ideal and at 4:30 the morning of the race as I scrambled to feed the mini-farm critters that make up my family home, I didn't even need a jacket.

I had set aside an old long sleeve t-shirt to wear and discard along the course, but didn't even need that. It was foggy when I arrived on Gordon Street and Whitaker and there was almost no traffic. It was 5:30 then. I had a half hour to walk the half mile or so to Bay Street where the race was to begin. Even though it was dark there were plenty of other people, both volunteers and runners headed in the same direction.The first place I went when I got to the start line was the portable toilets. There were plenty of them, scattered all down the street and there was still toilet paper in them at that point.

I did not feel like eating when I woke up, so munched on a pack of Belvita pumpkin breakfast cookies and sipped some watered down juice as I walked to the race. I felt a bit like a kid and even squeezed my juice box too hard and got juice all down my shirt! I brought a disposable bottle of water and a cheap flashlight just in case and planned to dump both before the race started, giving the flashlight to the first person not running who looked like he might like it.

At 6:00 we took a Savannah Strider group photo which I didn't even get in because the first one didn't come out and I got out of the lineup to take one with my camera, which yes, I ran with, but ended up not using once during the run. A guy named Corey took a better picture with his high powered lens as I was running back to join the group, so I don't even have a record of it, but later someone else took a photo of the Strider women together, so I felt better about it. You don't want to be shallow about it, but you want proof you were really there too! It's kind of a toss up.

I almost forgot I had signed up to join a prayer group in Reynolds Square at 6:15 and rushed off to join a small group of 12 people, one of whom gave a mini sermon rather than a prayer. It was okay, but I really wanted to get back to the start line, so was glad when he finally got to the prayer and it was good, but by then the lines to the toilets was huge and I had to pee and poop and there was only 25 minutes left before the race started.

When we were barely four people away from the toilets and ten minutes before the race was to start, runners came out of the john and exclaimed, "there's no toilet paper in here,",,. oh great. I decided to wait on one that did have paper, but it seemed this was a rare commodity for all commodes and so I pulled out my ratty two ply Kleenex and put my Scottish frugality to good use with strategic folds and placement to clean myself off and arrive at the race line two minutes before the start. Talk about stressful! Twenty minutes later I still felt like I had to pee, but there was no way I was going to miss the corral start, so my bladder would just have to hang in there and behave itself.

The waiting is the hardest part...

Locked and loaded in the corral and ready to bolt

I hate being in corrals. I feel a lot like a wild horse trapped and wanting to be set free. I had to pull the metal gates apart to get in which brought a few evil glances from people who thought I was cutting in line. I had learned to get over that a long time ago. We were all wearing timing chips, so it didn't matter where you stood as your race time would not start recording until you passed the start line. In corral 13 it is not like I am going to block anyone's view of the start of the race nearly a quarter mile ahead anyway. We didn't even get to hear fellow Strider Cecilia Arango sing the national anthem, but it is what it is and the wave starts moved pretty quickly, so much so that we thought we were moving up to the next corral level but had actually begun the race.

The viaduct was so foggy that you could not see anything over the rails. It seemed to take forever to make it down Bay Street and when I heard a familiar voice yelling, "Beverly!", I turned to see Lisa Kyriakos jumping and waving and from then the day got better. It is funny how one person can make or break your day and nice to have friends who support you and cheer you in your endeavors, as delusional as they might seem to unbelievers!

The first band, was not really a band, but a Scottish bagpipe and drum group. I am sure they have a proper name... Fife Corp perhaps? In any event it was a nice treat and coming out of the mist and fog, it was quite appropriate to start us on our long journey which ran through one of the poorest sections of town with boarded up windows and doors and houses made of concrete blocks and rusted metal railings.The homes in their entirety were about as big as many people's living rooms. It made you feel guilty for not stopping and offering to help, yet the people were the nicest they could be, cheering from porches and lawns with some even playing boom boxes with music to keep us moving along.

One woman was standing near a pile of artificial flowers and waving a sign, but when we got closer we realized she was chanting her angst against the local police who shot an unarmed teen on the spot. There had been several shootings in that area, mostly gang and drug related and one unarmed man tried to run a police officer over with his car when he was shot, but as one of the runners yelled out, "this is not the time and place for politics, take it elsewhere," most of the other runners agreed, We were grateful for the police who were keeping us safe while we ran and one officer even helped a fallen man over the finish line, while another confronted party goers in the park to stand down and let runners go through first since they had put in more effort to get there.

Near the railroad tracks surrounded by trees a group of men and a woman broke off into the woods to pee while others waited on individual portable toilets which may or may not have paper in them! One woman said the men seemed shocked to see her run behind the trees with them, but said she just told them to keep their eyes forward and that they were all here to do the same thing and she wouldn't look if they didn't. There is true equality in running.

The course continued in and out of neighborhoods, along store fronts, with winding turns that confused people who weren't sure if we were still on the roads headed south or going back into the historic district. I confess I was not paying that much attention to street signs but knew we were headed north and then back toward Anderson and Henry. The bands seemed a bit far apart and we were grateful when individual runners unplugged their headphones and played their music for all of us. It helped to keep a beat and cheered us.

The crowds were not as huge as the first race I ran in 2011, but they were just as nice. The water tables were long and spread far out down the road. At the first water stop I made the mistake of going for the first table I saw and having to wait for water, but soon I realized there was more water further down, so skipped the crowds and kept moving at the next water table and gained a few seconds, though it really was not about the time.

I was following the 4:45 pacer at this point and had planned to follow the five hour pacer so knew I had started a little too fast, but it felt good to run and I was not out of breath or tired, so figured I would slow the pace just a little and see how things went.

While it was definitely humid, it was not hot, but I tried to drink water every opportunity I could find and still felt a bit dehydrated, so searched for the third water table and prayed they would have electrolytes. They did and I drank a full cup of Gatorade and a full cup of water while taking a walk break until I saw the five hour pacer and decided I had better pick up the pace if I wanted to stay on schedule. My goal was to do a 5:30 marathon and at the rate I was going, it looked like I might succeed, but there were still plenty of miles to go so I didn't want to get too confident!

Even super heroes would have struggled in the heat on this course

2013 photo from RnR
2013 photo from RnR

Eight miles into the course, many people said they started to feel fatigued

I confess that I did not put in enough long runs before the race, so when we reached the eight mile mark, my average long run taper distance, I started to feel a bit fatigued. Ironically it seemed that everyone who posted on social media was saying the same thing. Maybe it was more mental than physical.

When we turned onto Anderson, one lady said to her friend, "I am going to put my headphones on now during this boring part..." I kind of liked Anderson and Henry. The roads run parallel and opposite one another. They are both one way streets. I think Anderson goes east and Henry goes west, but it could be the other way around. It took me ten years to remember whether Oglethorpe Street came ahead of Liberty and the only way I can really remember it now is that Oglethorpe, the founder of Savannah, landed at River Street so Oglethorpe is closer to the river than Liberty.

There was one band in the middle of the two streets so you heard them going down one and coming back the other. There were a lot of little twisty streets as well that went by interesting lawn decorations, like plastic plates cut into flower shapes and potted plants stuck out in the middle of the lawn to add color. It was barely 8:30 and we weren't even half way through the race. I still was mostly running and noticed this year, that the walk/runners would hold their hands up when they were preparing to slow down or speed up, which made it easy to start steering around them and not plow into their backs. Even though we were half way through the half marathon, there was still a crowd of people and you had to watch the uneven pavement and the people around you, so everything seemed to blend into everything else.

We kept waiting for the next band, so when we heard a tap, tap of drums we figured the band must have gotten tired or taken a break and the drummer alone was tapping a beat to keep runners moving at a pace. It worked for me as I ran a bit faster to keep to the rhythm. When we got closer there were cow bells too and we realized, much to our surprise, that it was two young boys playing drums and cowbells set up in their front yard!

What a neat idea that was. They were not a featured band but they still performed and it was rather touching to see and hear. They were on a corner lot so you could hear them for quite a while and we were again overwhelmed by the generosity and talent of those who could just as easily have stayed inside and watched TV while their front yards were blocked from entry or exit for eight hours by thousands of runners!

Recovering after the run

When a major race runs out of water and cups for 20,000 runners, what does one do?

Several miles into the race you would come to a long flat stretch of road and be totally overwhelmed by the number of people running ahead of you. The runners filled entire two and four lane roads like a giant conga line snaking around the city.

Near the split of the marathon and half marathon courses the water tables got smaller with many running out of water and offering drinks out garden hoses offered by people living along the route. What a blessing it was to come across a woman who filled a huge tub with ice and passed out cups of the stuff to passing runners from her own front yard! It turned out to be an even greater blessing as the next water table we came to had no cups left and I was still holding on to a few chips of ice in the cup the woman had given me and was able to fill it to the brim and walk and drink and chew a few Gatorade chews which helped to get me back into running again. By this time I had lost track of all pacers, but decided to keep going.

I had a Garmin watch a friend had given me but could not get it to count forward, only count down preset laps, so finally gave up and just calculated my splits as the minutes passed by. I was doing about a 10:30 mile pace at this point and didn't really care, It was a relief to finally split off from the half marathon course and head toward Truman Parkway toward Savannah State University where I was told we would be so overcome with cheering that it would make the whole run worth the effort. I had even filled out a sign at the expo for the students to hold, saying "Go Savannah Striders!!!"

A friend of mine lived on the street leading to the university and had made signs and brought her children outside to cheer for me. I was only hoping I could keep running and not disappoint them! I felt vapor locked in sweat and my feet were sliding around the front part of my shoes. You always think your feet will swell and your shoes will fit tighter, but whenever I go long distances it seems to be the opposite and I am not sure why. My back between my shoulder blades felt tight too and that made it harder to take in deep breaths, but overall I was still hanging in there and felt okay.

As we neared the turn off a booming male voice called out, "Half marathoners to your right, Full marathoners, this way,"

As he cried out again, "Marathoners this way!!", I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was a marathoner! I had crossed that line I never thought imaginable. I could tell everyone that I ran a marathon. It was an honor beyond belief and even though I had 15 miles to go to claim that title, it was a new beginning on a journey I never thought imaginable. I was going to rock this thing!!!

Relay runners in the half marathon

Truman you are a blue man...what a bummer

It is really not the best course for a marathon. No sooner do you break from the half marathon course than you are met with an uphill climb onto the Truman Parkway which was built to speed people from one side of the town to the other without hitting four hundred and fifty traffic lights and three school zones... okay maybe I exaggerate on the stop lights, but the Truman can cut thirty minutes off your travel time on a busy day so it is a lot easier for police officers and race officials to divert traffic and keep runners safe.

It felt odd running on the Truman with no traffic and it was so broad that many people spread out in all lanes before realizing that the cones were actually separating us from returning runners. We got to see the top three male finishers and top female runner pass us and it was probably the best view you could have anywhere on the course of returning champions. Cars traveling on the opposite side would honk their horns and yell, "Go runners!" so that you felt like a real celebrity.

Then we started to see more people returning and many of them walking and wondered... if they are that far ahead of us, why are they not running and looking in great shape instead of walking and looking like a mirror version of us? Elite runners usually look elite and these runners didn't, yet they were already in route to the finish line when we were barely half way through?

As we got closer we see sad faces and even tears and wondered what was going on. A man ran toward us and called out, "be prepared, they are going to stop you when you get up there!" We thought there must have been an accident or that they were letting traffic through. One year a race had been stopped because a train was coming! We just weren't sure what was going on, but something didn't feel right.

There was one band on the Truman and several huge speakers piping in music. Huge black plastic trash bags were draped over cardboard boxes filled with ice water and sponges which looked like remnant pieces of an old bed mattress. They were that brownish tan foam color and scallop cut in an almost triangular fashion and lying all over the road looking somewhat like dried out jelly fish on the beach.

That always appalls me how runners just toss cups and gel packs on the ground. We were taught never to litter and I even held on to my cups until I could find an empty trash can. I would never toss a sponge on the ground, much less a squishy, icky gel pack, but I guess some people figure they paid to have other people clean up after them, so it was okay.

I grabbed a sponge, intrigued by the shape of it and placed it on the back of my neck, and sponged off my face, arms, and upper thighs, squeezing the rest of the freezing water over my head and sucking in air at the shock of the cold, thinking maybe that wasn't such a smart idea! That's what I get for copying what other people did, but considering I was wearing my high neck Strider running shirt, I opted out of shoving the sponge deep down into my bra like a lot of women were doing. I didn't really want more water running down into my shorts than was already congregating there from sweat and the port-o-pottie shake out along the race route which was out of paper as well. I only had to make one toilet stop along the course, which surprised me considering I had drank so much fluid before and during the race.

There was a medic tent on the side of the road by the band playing, but I did not know what they had to offer and I did not really need anything, so kept moving until we saw an unpleasant gentleman standing next to a blockade turning us around. I imagine he pretty much hated his job at that point because everyone was mad at him and yelling, "What?", "Why?" "This is ridiculous!!"

When asked why we were being turned around, he said because it was too hot. Two ladies next to me were from Florida and mimicked what most of us were thinking, telling the man it was not hot and we had trained in the heat and should be allowed to keep going.

In all fairness, on the way up I had seen four people down, all men in seemingly good shape who were cramping and apparently too dizzy to sit up. We learned later that one of those men had died after being given CPR and transported to a hospital and another died the next day in his kitchen at home from what doctors think was caused by the stresses of the race, but both could have had pre-existing conditions so no one really knows for sure this early in the game.

Still, we found out that so many people were dropping on the side of the road from cramps and dizziness and nausea that the paramedics could not get to them and so race officials decided to cut the race short and divert marathoners at mile 21 at first and shortly after, at mile 15, which is where we got turned back.

One lady was beside herself and convulsing in tears. We tried to console her, but she pulled away and called her spouse on the phone to tell him it was over as if she had just been told that her life had ended or her parents had died in a horrible wreck and suffered terribly.

Maybe she was running for a cause or had trained for years and it was too overwhelming for her. Most of us were upset and disheartened. Some people mistakenly thought the whole event had been cancelled and that their times would not be counted so they started to walk. I kept running until we reached the incline again and then walked up that and took a break to look at all the people ahead of me.

They looked for all the world like a group of grown-up teenagers whose bus to Disney had broken down 30 miles from Disney and 5 from the hotel and were told they would have to walk back to the hotel since it was closer. Heads hung low, feet dragged the ground. Their spirits were broken and it was hard not to feel bad for them. I admit a part of me was actually glad we got turned around. I really don't know if I could have kept going for six more miles before turning around for home, but a part of me was sad too, because I really wanted to prove to myself that I had the stamina to continue.

One man told the dejected runners that they would still get medals and jackets when they got back, but most people felt that this was a shallow victory as they had not earned them and it made us all feel sick inside that this race we had trained to run for months on end in all sorts of weather conditions much worse than this was now being denied to us because of a few who had succumbed to the weather. We also wondered if the event planners had done enough to provide water and electrolytes as only one station about six or seven miles in had gels and there was no salt until we got diverted and turned back on the Truman and that was in the form of table salt in corrugated paper packages like you get with prepackaged meals at fast food places.

Still, there were wet towels passed out and sponges and the locals were great by offering free hose downs to anyone who wanted it, with some runners saying the neighbors had lawn chairs set up under shade trees so people could take a break and others offered free beer and cut fruit.. You couldn't really fault the event organizers for wanting to make sure everyone was safe, but to say the least, it was a bummer and a let down.

Rock n Roll After Party in Savannah

The, I mean after-party

From the time we turned around on the Truman, it was really tough to stay motivated. One thought was, "why bother?" and the other was "you can still push yourself and go as far as you can go and make the best of what life offers you," which was a big plate of disappointment at this point.

I was so bummed I even skipped the last water stop and just kept running. When we got about a mile and half out we saw signs that read Grind Now and Shine Later which was the slogan of Fleet Feet Sports owner Robert Espinoza who died suddenly stunning the running community.

Robert's friend and physical therapist, Ernie Ledesma was standing near one of the signs and told us that we only had 1.1 miles to go. He promised he was not lying and many people picked up their spirits and their paces and began to jog again.

I was determined to run the whole 1.1 in, but about eight minutes later when I was still a half mile away, or so it seemed, I had to walk again, until I heard cheers and a squad of children encouraging us on. How can you resist that?

As I made it around the last corner and into the home chute I heard multiple people yelling my name, but was too tired to look and too determined to get this thing over and get away from crowds and off by myself so I could reflect on the experience.

Coming up to the finish line I did my best to finish strong, which proved a little stupid as once you hit the other side you had to come to an immediate stop as the people handing out medals had the entire exit chute blocked off and were letting one person hand out medals to nearly 40 people as 40 more came up behind.

I was perturbed and cramping up and needed to keep moving, and tried not to stare down the woman who got the medals all tangled up and backed up even more runners. I just wanted to get out of the crowd and into the shade to walk out the stiffness.

My feet and legs hurt too bad to lay down and the banana I just ate was upsetting my stomach big time. The smell of beer at the finish also made me sick and I didn't feel good, so decided to find the Savannah Strider tent, but didn't really find anyone there I wanted to talk to so decided to listen to the band, but had so much stuff I collected at the finish (chocolate milk, protein bar, cereal in a bag, craisins, pea snaps, etc. that I decided to go to the truck and unload and then return with the camera and get some photos of Rascal Flatts and my friends and their medals, but even then I felt kind of off and did not want to be with people, so stood in line to pick up my faux finisher jacket.

The lines were huge and snaking and the sun kept coming out from behind the clouds. The reflection of the sun off a bright white towel on the ground made me see spots and then I realized I was seeing dark contrasting shadows and light rimmed in darkness and was about to pass out, so did some deep breathing and tried not to panic when I heard a familiar voice behind me.

It was my friend Mary Jo who had finished the half and was holding a beer she didn't really feel like drinking! We talked a bit, but I was kind of out of it and felt like I was rambling and not as friendly as I should be. After MJ left I felt like my knees were going to buckle so got out of line and went to the medical tent where they put a cold rag on my neck (again with the cold water running down my shirt) and sat me in a chair in the shade which only resulted in me feeling like I was freezing as my body started shaking convulsively.

Since no one seemed to notice or to to care, I got up and went back out in the sun where I felt sick on my stomach, but not as weak kneed, so went back to test out my stamina in the jacket line and finally got it only to discover when I got it home that one of the reflective stripes was missing and the other was falling off. My running buddy Jenny joked that maybe they had removed one of my stripes for not running the full course, which I thought was funny, but another friend thought was not. At least I still had my sense of humor if not my first marathon finish.

Later I ran into Larry, a fellow runner and hiker and we sat on a tarp on the ground and talked. It was nice to take your mind off the race and running for a bit and then the rest of our friends returned and it started to feel like family again, which is really the best part about a run.

So, after months of training it was over just like that. I could not be proud of the medal I did not earn and felt conspicuously like a liar wearing the jacket, but it was a very cool jacket, even with the flapping reflective stripe that sat lopsided next to where the missing stripe should be. I always manage to get the short end of the stick in everything it seems, so this was just another burr in the mat of fur that was my life.

Who knows, maybe I would have passed out on the course and had my Obamacare $6000 deductible policy reduced by $3000 making those thousands of tax payers dollars spent on what I could not afford, seem less like a waste to cover my faux insurance policy for my faux marathon, and yes, perhaps I am a little bitter and should just let it go and move on.

I am glad no one was greatly injured and no more deaths occurred. I do think things could have been better: more toilets and toilet paper, instructions from the race crew on how to stay hydrated for those who weren't really sure what to do, more cups, more water, more music, more bands, ( I can't say more cowbell, because there was plenty of that), but then again. no matter how well prepared you are, there will still be issues.

We were told that we would get a free entry to another Rock n Roll event, but that has not materialized yet, so we are all just waiting to see what the official word will be, but city officials seem confident the race will be run here again next year and the problems will be fixed. We shall see...

I do not know if I have it in me to train and run in another marathon. When I went to reach the light switch on my ceiling fan the day after the race, even when I stretched the way I normally do to reach it, I came up short! I am not sure if that is because of tightened muscles or I took a quarter inch off by compressing my spine with all the pounding, but it was kind of funny slapping at the cord until I could finally reach it! It turned cold the next day, which is why I turned the ceiling fan off. It makes you wonder though how it could be in the eighties one day and the sixties the next and what might have happened if those days were swapped?

Almost everyone who ran the race and had it cut short or couldn't get water when they were thirsty is upset, but at the same time they are all in agreement that it is better to be safe and protect people than to continue on and risk more people dying, so it makes you proud that runners really do care about other runners more than they do about themselves and in reality, that makes all the effort to run a race worth it... not the medal, the jacket, the bragging rights, the finisher photos or the t-shirt, but the fact that you did something most people can't or won't do and you came out a better person for having done it.

In the end that is all that really matters, but maybe there will be a next time and maybe it will be the real deal, but if not, I am grateful to have had the experience and look forward to more runs with some really great people who have so positively impacted my life that I have been made better by being in their presence and that is the truly the mark of a great person; that they can make the world better just by being in it, so for that I am truly thankful and look forward to many more miles and many more interesting conversations with people I call friends. .

What is the longest distance you have ever run in one time period?

What is the longest distance you have run?

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If you ran in this year's Savannah Rock n Roll Marathon, what did you think about it and how would you make it better?

Let us know how you feel about the Rock n Roll event in Savannah this year and if you agree or disagree with the way the race was handled by leaving your comments below.

Have you ever been in a poorly run race and what are your expectations for small, local races, verses big corporate races? Which do you think is the most fun to participate in and which race would you ultimately love to run if money and ability were no object?


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      4 years ago

      Loved it.


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