The last marathon in SA only brought out around 5000 athletes.
Adding dozens of bands along the route (and more national and international advertising and organization) made our very first Rock and Roll Marathon a huge success with 30,000 entries purchased (Sold Out!) although realistically only 20-25,000 actually ran.
If you are going to an event like this, having a set of "gold" passes is worth every penny.
I got mine for free because I'm uber-cool and hang with some awesome people, although I'm sure they like Sylvia more than they like me. (Thanks, Rikk!!)
Free parking in the closest lot to all the action, free food and drinks served by a slick black-tie staff, private bleachers ON the finish line, free The CULT concert admission and backstage VIP access.
On top is the medal each finisher is awarded, and I've been witness to the fact that the one in the photo was earned with hours/days/weeks/months of hard work and discipline.
"The Gladiator" (as the crowd around me named him) was going back and forth in the finish area, urging others on and getting maximum camera time.
Less than 100 yards before the finish line a runner collapsed and died right in front of me.
They defribbed and got a pulse before wheeling him through the time-chipped finish line, which was a major concern in the crowd.
I assume he survived since there was no mention of deaths on the TV news.
It's the second time this year that someone has dropped dead in my presence.
The most important shot(s) of the day and I screwed the pooch with serious focus issues.
Not happy at all, but I think I know what went wrong.
Sylvia finished the 13.1 mile half-marathon in 2 hours 30 minutes, and it's very sweet that she and her friend/running partner Meredith stayed together from beginning to end.
It's the farthest Syl has ever run, and I'm very proud of her!
If you visit the marathon's website and find video of noisy fans with a guy pointing a black Sony back at the videographer, this is the opposite view.
UPS loaned the event a fleet of brown trucks and volunteers to carry everyone's personal effects from the park and ride at ATT Center to the race finish area. It was tortureously disorganized and slow at truck #4, but by cutting the line and doing some strategic winking we got Sylvia's stuff before going postal.
It was a lot of fun and very inspiring.
The many runners and fans from outside San Antonio were naturally charmed by our city and it's great people.
A nice side-effect is that all of the clothing the runners peeled-off and threw away while the temps quickly climbed from 34 to 60-ish will benefit homeless shelters and/or other worthy causes. (Un-Confirmed Assumption Alert!)
Operating on three hours of sleep after working my butt off the night before, I was stiff and sore and not as effective as I could have been. Still, it was a great experience that I wouldn't have missed for anything.
I got a sunburn and am pinker than I let myself get after 3 days at South Padre.
More photos soon.