During one of my runs last week, my mind was wandering... as it often does! I was thinking about some of the races I have run in the past and it dawned on me that there are two races I have run that had completely different finishes!
I hope you enjoy my finish line stories about the Phunt 50k and the Keybank Vermont City Marathon!
My first ultra ever! This fat ass trail race is held in early January. The year I ran it, the temperatures were freezing! There was snow on the ground so there was a lot of sloshing and slogging. I remember getting a bit lost around mile 20 but somehow got back on track and found my way to the finish line.
I'm not going to lie, I was damn pleased with myself for running the longest distance I had ever run at that point in my life. I'm not sure what I was expecting at the finish line, but I was pretty sure there would be a crowd of people clapping and cheering for me as I completed something that was EPIC!
There was no crowd. There was no cheering. There was no clapping.
What there was, was a campfire with a couple people huddled around it. They were trying to stay warm as they ate hot dogs. As I crossed the finish line, no one even looked at me.
I was shocked that no one acknowledged my finish, but I was still happy and proud of myself for completing the race. I grabbed a hot dog, hopped in the car, and drove home.
The moral of the story is: If you want people to clap for you after a race, don't run an ultra!
This Burlington, VT race was my second marathon and a race that I urge people in my neck of the woods to do! I could go on and on about how awesome this run is, but we're just talking finish lines today!
The last couple miles of the race are on a tow path along Lake Champlain. Then the path opens into a park. The trail is rather narrow- maybe wide enough for three runners across, so they had fences lining it to be sure the crowd didn't block the path.
And what a crowd it was! The path in the park leading up the finish was just LINED with cheering fans. This was nothing like I ever experienced before, as it was only my third race ever. I felt like I was a celebrity on the red carpet. I felt like a freaking ROCK STAR! I remember wishing everyone got to experience this!
I will never forget the finish in Burlington as it was the first time I experienced something like that on race day!
Did you ever finish and no one was there to see it?
Which race that you have run has the best finish line?
Isn't it funny that the longer distant races (the Ultras) bring out the least amount of crowd?ReplyDelete
The best finish line hands down is at a Disney race but I understand those races aren't for everyone..lol
I can definitely see how Disney races would have very exciting finish lines!Delete
The best finish ever for me was at the Miami Half in 2015. Obviously it stands as my current half marathon PR so that's part of the reason :) It's also memorable because it's the biggest race we have down here so it gets more entrants and spectators than any other race.ReplyDelete
Since race day includes a half marathon and full marathon, while I was rounding the bend to finish my half in 2:57 a few full marathoners were also coming in for spectacular, speedy finishes and the crowds were cheering like crazy. They weren't cheering for me, but I pretended they were since I knew I was PRing! haha
LOL they were cheering for you too, I am sure! That must have been sooooooooo freaking exciting!Delete
Thats so weird to not have anyone at the finish! I don't think I have ever done a race like that but I think I would be kind of disappointed! I think the Baltimore marathon has an awesome finish line!ReplyDelete
You know what, I can't even REMEMBER the Baltimore finish line! I do remember they had soup but I wasn't hungry.Delete
That should be a new philosophical debate question: "if a girl finishes an ultra in the forest and no one is around to see it...did she really run the race?" LOL.ReplyDelete
I do mostly smallish races so there has never been an epic finish line for me. The best I can think of is when I finished my first marathon. I didn't think anyone I knew was there and all of a sudden I heard my mom's voice calling out my name! Of course in the delirium of 26.17 miles it took me a minute to be like "what the what?" Her and my bro had driven up to surprise me. It was a surprise!
LOL I love it! I think the answer is: Yes, she ran the race but NO ONE ELSE CARED!!! :)Delete
What a WONDERFUL surprise!!!! Races that my parents have been to are very special to me! I bet you think about the finish line of your 1st marathon even more fondly because your momma was there. I bet Pittsburgh will have a great finish.
Oh my goodness I cannot imagine running 50 K and then no one clapping for me LOL! I would love to do an ultra race someday. The same sort of thing happens around here though: by the time the ultra runners come through the finish line most of the crowd has left the area. :( last year's Boston Marathon was definitely my most memorable finish. It's probably a combination of being frozen to death and soaking wet with the elation of scoring a PR.ReplyDelete
The Boston finish is EPIC. I love the picture of you PR'ing there!!! :)Delete
Ha ha! So true about the differences between ultras and other races. My ultra finish line was so small! I'd have to say Boston had the greatest finishing chute. The roar of people was just so loud.ReplyDelete
Boston has a great finish! Last time I ran it I purposefully stopped and took a picture looking down Boylston street before I ran to the finish line! I just wanted to soak it all in.Delete
A bunch of my friends run Phunt each year but I have never done it - I've never done an ultra! A lot of small town marathon finish lines are a lot like what you described for Phunt. I like both - sometimes the big crowd finish because dude. You just ran far. Applaud me. And other times I like the low key ones because it reminds me that running is ultimately something I do for me :) Love this post!ReplyDelete
That is a very great point! And really, I am sure most of us would run even if there was never a crowd. But crowds definitely make it more fun. :)Delete
I am surprised you never ran an ultra! I am sure you enjoy trail running, right?
I had the same experience at my 50K! I think there may have been one person, but for all of that work, I expected to see some fireworks exploding when I crossed the finish! The best finish was Boston last year when then announced my birthday when I crossed the finish line. Nice touch BAA!!ReplyDelete
LOL yeah, where were my damn fireworks!!!??? :)Delete
That is so cool they announced your birthday! Wow. I mean, that's pretty nice considering there were probably lots of bdays that day!
There were a lot of birthdays that day! From the video coverage I watched, they were announcing quite a few. But of course mine was the MOST special :) :)Delete
Well OBVIOUSLY! :)Delete
I would have totally come and cheered for you! What an amazing accomplishment, Megan. I have only run one race in my life...a 5K when I was 11 and I decided the day before I was going to do it and then had a sleepoever at a friend's house. Obviously, I wasn't stressed about it. I finished second to last but it was so memorable because my mom (of course) was there to cheer me on (very loudly) and I was SO proud of myself. Then I ate cold pizza in the car while my mom ran errands. It's a good memory for my one and only race!ReplyDelete
Awwww that is such a sweet memory, Susan! Thank you for sharing that with me. :) <3 Moms are great.Delete
Your ultra finish sounds like my first marathon finish. By the time I limped across the finish line everyone had left! Luckily my parents and couple of friends came to cheer me on. I was glad there wasn't a huge crowd there though so that no one saw me ugly cry from the pain I was in!ReplyDelete
Aw that must have been TOUGH. I am sure you made your family so proud.Delete
Because the energy of race day is partially why I even like racing, I think I wouldn't like to finish such a HUGE race like an ultra and have NO ONE there to cheer! But it does make you even more badass!ReplyDelete
I definitely would have preferred the cheers too. :) Luckily, there was a lot of energy from other runners on the course. It's fun to meet new people, which you usually do during an ultra because it is sooooo long and you are usually running slow enough to be able to talk. Well, I am anyway!Delete
Oh, I used to run way more outside and now I run way more on the treadmill, but it's okay. I always need to eat more veggies and drink more water. Sigh...ReplyDelete
I think most of us need to do that! :)Delete