Published: January 22nd 2011January 17th 2011
It's Monday afternoon and I'm on a Southwest flight heading home from another awesome weekend with some of my favorite people. What started last year with a large group of friends coming together to celebrate the life of someone we all knew and loved, has turned into an annual event we now affectionately call "The Doogie Half." Gordon "Doogie" Hyde was a captain for the airline I work for and he left behind a very large group of friends and family. Those of us who are runners have converted those who were not and our running group has grown tremendously.
The out-of-state runners began flying in to Phoenix one by one starting Friday morning with the last group out of Chicago arriving Saturday late afternoon with just enough time to pick up their packets from the expo. That group was rewarded for their late arrival by getting to meet Meb Keflezighi and I have been jealous of them ever since! Unfortunately, none of them thought to get a picture (can you even believe that?!). A photo of Meb with a few members of our running group would have been amazing...maybe next time.
Friday night we met at a friend's
The morning of the race.
From left to right: Dave, Sue, Kyle (behind Sue) Debbie, Val and Bryan.
house for pizza and beer and since we have a few hard-core drinkers in our group (not me) it was a late night.
Saturday was a busy day as a few of us needed to get to the expo to pick up our packets. Queen Creek, where we all stay, is about 45 minutes from downtown Phoenix and it took several hours for us to make the drive, get our packets, shop the expo (I bought compression socks to try) and return home, but time does seem to fly when one is having fun and spending time with this group is definitely fun.
Later that night we had a pasta party and a few of the local chefs in our group showed off their culinary skills with ravioli and spaghetti and some of the best pasta sauce I've tasted. They even accommodated me with a vegetarian option which surprised me since I'm the only vegetarian in the group.
One of these years we are going to have to scale down our pasta party to just a pasta dinner...there is way too much "party" for a group running 13.1 miles early the next morning but I'm not likely
At the starting line...
Bryan, Kristen, Me and Kyle at the starting line. You guys should recognize Bryan and Kyle from the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon. Bryan pushed Eddie and Kyle and I were part of the team that ran along side them.
to get much support from the rest of the group...these guys love to have a good time.
Race morning was uneventful. Most of us are seasoned runners who know the drill. The weather was overcast and perfect for running. Regardless, I felt terrible every step of that 13.1 miles and was glad when it was over. I don't think too many of us were properly trained, having taken so much time off over November and December. At least that was my excuse and I finished it in 2:37. Not my worst half marathon, but I really need to get focused as I have an intense running year ahead of me.
Runners, spouses, significant others, random runners we picked up from the race and a ton of kids all showed up in Queen Creek for our post-race party. Of course nobody wanted the party to end and it was after midnight before we were able to finally get some sleep.
Most of the out-of-town runners rode together to the airport this morning and once inside the airport, after hugs goodbye, we scattered to our various flights. All of us travel standby and most of us are crew so
Dave setting up the new TV
The day before the race while a few of us were at the expo Dave went with Val to pick up her new TV. He had it installed in less than an hour. What a guy!
our choice of airline is wide open, at least in Phoenix, and we were all able to get on flights home.
We're landing soon and it was my goal to finish this before we touched down in Salt Lake City. I'm going straight back to work so pictures will have to wait until the weekend.
Next up, the Irish Sprint in March. See you then!
There are more photos below