Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Third Date With the Newport Bridge

When I started running in 2011, racing was not part of my plan. That is until I heard about the Citizen's Bank Newport Pell Bridge Run.

I loved the idea of this race. Run across a bridge that I drive over at least once a week, with a beautiful view.  Downside, super early morning, crazy hill.  Didn't matter, I did it and today, I ran it for the third time.

Packet pick up was easy and fast.  Shirt this year is blue, which was a nice change and it seems nicer than the first two years.  I am looking forward to wearing it.
My shirt and number.
Flat Nicole.  This shirt is wicked warm.  It was too much for today..

The plan was for Beth, Kathy, Deb and I to meet at the park and ride and drive over together.  This race has a 6:30 am start, we had a 5:15 meeting time.

Believe it or not, I was actually able to get a sitter for this race.  I was hesitant to ask the girl down the street because it was so early, but she was fine with it. Yay!

While I was waiting for her to get here, I got a message from Deb saying she was at the lot and waiting.  I told her I would be there in 5 and asked her if the she saw Beth and her red car.  No she answered. Hmm… Beth is always 15 or more minutes early.

I got there, saw Deb and then Kathy pulled in soon after.  No Beth.  I texted and called.  No answer.  We waited till 5:30 and then headed over to Newport.

We had no problem parking and were soon on a bus getting shuttled to the start.  The only thing we had time for was a stop at the porta potties.

I had been stressing about Beth this whole time.  The crazy mommy in me had all kinds of not so good things going through my head.  Finally, I got this text from her.  "My alarm didn't go off!!!  Damn it!!!"

I was bummed and happy at the same time. She was ok, but I was so looking forward to seeing her.  It has been a while.  She wished us well and, I hope, went back to bed for a bit.
At the start.

The start was crowded and in a different spot from the year before.  They had 3900 runners and walkers this year.

We lined up, they had a few announcements and then the National Anthem was played.  I have mixed feeling about this.

The version they chose was from Madison Rising. If you haven't heard it, you can find it here.  This is a rock song and it made people not pay attention to our flag.  They shook there heads like it was 1986 and laughed and joked. Sorry, but as the wife of a Veteran, not to mention what our country has gone through the last several years, I thought it was very disrespectful.  Just so you understand, it wasn't the song as much as it was the behavior.

To make matters worse, in the middle of our National Anthem, they made an announcement!!!  I have to say, it was a disgrace and my heart was crushed a little.

I watched the video when I got home and I enjoyed it.  Different place, different time.  It's all good and it didn't' ruin my race.  In fact, the song after the gun went off was Follow the Yellow Brick Road.  This made me and my friends smile and off we went.

When I hit the mat, I started my Garmin. Or so I thought. You know me and this crazy watch. Once again, it locked up on a screen and didn't move.  This time it was a new screen, a compass.  I didn't even know I had a freaking compass!

No time to restart it, so I just left it.  This is a fun race for me. I run it with friends, no time goal, and well,  now that I have been running for a couple years, I take a stroll down memory lane. This race was a big one for me, and once I crossed the line the first time, I knew I would be back over and over again.  Who needs a Garmin for that!

The start was crowded and up hill. This just slows you down.  We weaved in and out of people who were walking. Clearly they did not see the signs for pace.
Going through the tolls.

Deb and I were together for the uphill.  We lost Kathy in the crowd but the plan was to take a pic at the top of the bridge so when we got three, we waited a minute for her.

A lady running by us stopped and took the picture for us. She said she stops once a year to help out a group who is taking a picture, and we were the lucky group this year.  Thank you awesome stranger!
At the top!

Just a random shot.

The downhill of the bridge is always nice. The three of us were together for a while and then Kathy slowed up a bit.  I was feeling pretty good but was dressed way to warm.  Deb was keeping me occupied by asking questions about getting ready for Philly and that just got me excited talking about it.

Once we were at the bottom of the bridge, Deb was speeding up a bit.  At the bottom of the off ramp, I pulled over to wait for Kathy. I didn't see her right away, so I moved on to the water stop.  I waited here a minute and then she was there.  I didn't want to leave her. She seemed to be struggling a bit and I wanted to keep her company.

We saw some great costumes today.  A gingerbread man, a banana and Forest Gump.  But what was really amazing in this last half mile, was a firefighter in full gear. Oxygen Tank and everything.  I ran past him and told him what a great job he was doing and way to go! I don't know what his cause is, but I can imagine. He was cool and he looked really good. He made me proud to be able to run next to him for a bit.

The finish was in site! Kathy picked it up just a bit here.  We crossed the line within seconds of each other, smiling.

We saw Deb and congratulated each other.

From there we got some food and water.  They had a band and a beer tent where all the runners could get a free beer.  They were nice additions to the race this year.

The walk back to our car was cold.  I was so happy I had dressed in layers and put my second shirt back on.  Where we parked had a great view of the bridge so we took one more picture.
Can you see the bridge?

Back at our cars, we said goodbye to Deb and Kathy and I headed to breakfast.

It really was a nice morning. It is an early start but it is so worth it.  I will run again next year and I am hoping to get George to do it with me.  He almost said yes before he found out he would have to wake up in the dark.  He's only eight, we have plenty of time.

I missed Beth, but will see her soon, I hope. Sounds like she had a nice day too. She headed over to the RI 6 Hour Ultramarathon to cheer on our friend Mike.  He had a pretty amazing race and ran 32.6 miles!  Way to go Mike!

So not making a big deal about but it's November which means I have now been blogging for two years.  Happy Blogiversary to me!  It has been a really cool two years, thanks to so many of you.  You keep me going as much as I hope, I keep you going.  My big race is coming up, something I never dreamed possible.  Thank you for being here to share it with me.


Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole


  1. Love this!! Sounds like you guys had a great time and I am SO SORRY!!! Love that you all stopped at the top for a picture. I am SO with you on the walkers, get to the back PLEASE!!

    1. Yes, it was fun!

      Missed you but glad you had a good day.

  2. FUN! That's a big bridge!! ONE MORE WEEK! Super exciting!! Are you ready?!? Feeling good?? Have a great week getting ready!!

    1. Thanks! I am as ready as I am going to be. Will run a couple times this week, short and easy. The packing, I think, will be my biggest challenge. The weather has really improved and I am so happy about that. Still feeling excited!

  3. Happy blogiversary! I can't believe your race is so close! Good luck:)

  4. I love this post. I did my first Pell Bridge run this year and loved it! Your pictures are great. Congrats on the run and your blog anniversary.

    1. Thank you! So glad you loved the race!

  5. Great job!! Excited for your marathon, mines not till 12/1 so I got a ways to wait, taper mode now. Happy Blog Anniversary!! I started mine in 2011 I think too. I'm so sporadic with posts though.

    1. Thanks Kris! Looking forward to hearing about your marathon!

  6. Great job!! Excited for your marathon, mines not till 12/1 so I got a ways to wait, taper mode now. Happy Blog Anniversary!! I started mine in 2011 I think too. I'm so sporadic with posts though.

  7. Love this race- you look so fashionable when you run!!!! :)
    Happy 2 years to you, and as a Philly girl, I CANNOT WAIT to hear about the upcoming race :)

    1. Thanks! I am looking forward to writing my recap. Hope we have good weather.

  8. What a fun race! I'm sure the view from the bridge is spectacular!!

  9. So incredibly fun! I hear so many great things about this race. Maybe, one day, I'll run it as well :) Your post makes me lean towards a yes!

  10. Good luck this weekend! I am thinking of you and will follow you. Run strong and HAVE FUN! Savor this moment you have worked so hard to achieve, and with your family there it will be especially wonderful and memorable!