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Jacksonville Marine Corps Half Marathon

October 3, 2009

This morning Carl and I were up earlier than usual to meet my co-worker and friend, Brian, in downtown Jacksonville for the Marine Corps Half Marathon.  The race began at Alltel Stadium (where the Jags play) and went over the Main Street and Acosta bridges, through Riverside and Avondale, and finished at Memorial Park.

Stretching befor the big race

Stretching before the big race

As it neared 7am they asked for all of the runners to line up so the Opening Ceremony could begin. They presented the flags and a band played the Star Spangled Banner, which was beautiful and nearly brought Carl and I to tears. This race was quite possibly my favorite one that we’ve been to so far because it was so neat to see all of the different branches of the military participating with their new recruits as they ran the 5k together.

Opening Ceremony

Opening Ceremony

At 7am the cannon went off and the race began!

...and theyre off!

...and they're off!

Carl and I kept scanning the crowd hoping to see Brian, but I was afraid he had already passed us – and then he was there!  I was so glad that Carl and I were able to be there before the race to support him.

Theres Brian!

There's Brian!

Carl and I walked towards Memorial Park to wait for the rest of our group.  While we were on our way we were able to see some really neat military transport vehicles.  Unfortunately all of our pictures came out blurry so you’ll just have to imagine what they looked like.

Carl and I after the race

Carl and I after the race

Because the 5k and half marathon started together, people from the 5k started coming in pretty quickly so there was plenty to watch while we waited for everyone.  Around 7:45 am Ashley arrived and shortly after the first person from the half marathon FINISHED!  I know that people can keep a pretty quick pace for a few miles, but I was amazed that some of these runners were able to maintain such a fast pace for the entire race!

1st place 1/2 marathon runner

1st place 1/2 marathon runner. He came in UNDER an hour and ten minutes!

While we were waiting I had 1/2 of a blueberry crisp Clif Bar for breakfast #1

Around 8:30 am Kristin and Lindsay arrived with our surprise for Brian – Go Giff team shirts!

Team Giff!

Team Giff!

I love how I’m the “F!” shirt, lol!  We talked about wearing our shirts to work on Monday, but somehow I’m not sure if mine will really be appropriate without everyone else, haha!  Even though it was his first half marathon, Brian set a goal of under two hours so as the clock started to near that time we started looking for him, hoping that he would make his time goal.

Kristin was the first one to see him so we scrambled for the camera and screamed “Go Giff” and caught him as he passed us and made it under two hours!

Almost there!

Almost there!

Under two!

Under two!

Before we left we had to get a Team Giff picture with the big Marine, haha!

Team Giff posing with the big Marine

Team Giff posing with the big Marine

After the race we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast #2, per Brian’s request.  I decided on the breakfast with two meats, which included two little ham biscuits (I ate the ham and 1 1/2 biscuits), egg beaters with cheese, a little bit of gravy and about 3/4 serving of hash brown casserole.  Yum!  I was so proud of myself for eating until I was satisfied because I have quite a tendency to over eat there.  Yea for progress!

This morning was so much fun and I was very happy that Carl and I were able to be there to cheer Brian on.  You rock, Brian!

After breakfast Carl and I went to Costco for some essentials and then headed back home and took a lovely Saturday nap.  Two hours later (clearly we were tired!) I woke up and had a snack of strawberry Chobani and Nature’s Path Maple Pecan Crunch.  Yumtastic!  I’ve only had the plain Chobani and have to admit that I like their flavored Greek yogurt MUCH better.  I’m so excited to have more to eat through out the week!

Eventually Carl work up and he whipped up some dinner using some of the rotisserie chicken that we used for last night’s BBQ chicken pizza to make buffalo chicken sandwiches.  I really wanted some veggies so he grilled up some asparagus and squash on the Foreman and drizzled it with balsamic vinegar.

What a great Saturday!  Tomorrow I have an eight mile run planned and while I’m not looking forward to getting up early, I’m really looking forward to the run.  I hope you all have an awesome Saturday night!

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