Byrd's Eye View: The Country Music Marathon
You know, while watching more than 31,000 folks huff it through the Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon, I realized something. The vast majority of the people did not look like professional athletes. If all those folks can run a marathon, I have absolutely no excuse not to.
But who am I kidding? These people poured their hearts and souls into preparing for race day and I, well, didn't. So I decided that if I couldn't be an athlete, I could at least be an athletic supporter.
The night before the race, I set about making a series of inspirational posters, in hopes that the smiles they would generate might be just the extra boost some folks needed to make it across the finish line.
After contemplating all sorts of totally inappropriate slogans, I finally settled on three posters: "Chafe Now, Brag Later," "Marathon: Not as easy as your girlfriend" and "Run like you stole something!"
I heard that someone just a few miles down from my group had a sign that read, "Show me your nipple guards!" I'm totally bummed that I didn't think of that one first.
I thought I arrived at my cheering spot on Belmont Boulevard at the crack of dawn, but I still managed to miss the race-winning Kenyan, Amos Matui, who apparently floated by like a gazelle mere moments after leaving the starting line.
I did see a fellow running in a giant, fluffy bear suit (outrageous, considering Saturday's heat); a man jogging in a Hawaiian grass skirt and flip flops (really?); ballerina girls stopping to dance at each of the mile markers; a gladiator; a Forrest Gump impersonator; a United States Marine Corps vet carrying a giant and heavy flag the entire race; a man kicking a soccer ball the entire way (is that even allowed?); and nearly 50 hoopers "Hooping for Hope" and breast cancer research.