Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Running Celebration In LA: Loopsters and Olympians

It's too much for one post, so I'm saving my race report for a separate post. But even without the LA marathon, it was a fantastic weekend of celebrating running.
I was hosting ten loopsters at my house, and six others stayed nearby. So Redondo Beach was Loop Party Central! It kicked off on Thursday with morning arrivals of Corcorama (Erin) and Ocean101 (Roger). It was sunny and warm all weekend - great for sight-seeing - not so great for marathons. So Erin wanted to adapt right away with a 5 mile run in the mid-afternoon heat (close to 80). I got to show them my wood chip trail and beach running path where most of my runs go, and we had a nice little run.
That night we picked up Mr. Bacon, Mild Sauce and RunningPlaces (Steve), and made the first of several stops at the Hermosa Saloon. But this party was just getting started.
Friday everyone else showed up. Quadracool (Carissa) and her DH Adam, twentysixpoint2 (Jaclynn), aschmid3 ("code" Abby) and DH Clark, FiftyStater (Omar), DeuceDeuce (Bob), RunningWithMusic (Rebecca), and HotPinkSneakers (Caitlin). But first there was some morning time to kill, so, what else, another run at the beach!
Friday night was filled with running talk, food and beer. Of course it was great to see everyone, and there was much laughter and fun. I spent a lot of the weekend just looking around and thinking how amazing it was to have everyone here at the same time. So many cool friends.
Deuce came in after midnight when everyone was asleep, and crashed on the couch. (Yes, I leave my house unlocked to welcome an internet stranger that no one has ever met - doesn't everyone?) He had never met any loopsters, and he got to wake up and have coffee with me and Bacon and Sauce and QC...etc. etc. He seemed a little wide-eyed and in shock. It reminded me of my first Loopfest over 5 years ago and that amazing feeling realizing that these internet people were actually real and I could talk to them and they wanted to be best friends with me. Now it's just like having a bunch of friends over. Incredibly, awesomely cool friends, but still.
On Saturday, a few went out for a 2.5 mile shake-out before we headed to the Olympic trials.12742652_10208228572854174_4699372642893151556_n
We made an adventure out of it by riding the metro downtown to the race and the expo.
We arrived just as the race started, and we got to see the men and the women go by about 8 times each, so there was always something to watch.
The thrill of seeing America's best runners fly by was fantastic. It was very emotional thinking about how this was a dream come true for most of them. And a chance for Olympic  glory for some. Loopster RunnerTeal was right there in the middle and we cheered her on. Reading her story helped bring home the personal story that each runner probably had; Just regular runners who worked really hard and realized a dream.
The races were great, and we worked our way over to see the finish. I love this shot JB got where everyone's mouth is open as Meb finishes. We were all screaming with excitement as the group energy was just incredible. You could tell most of the fans were runners and knew what it meant just to be there.
It was great stuff. After that the expo was anti-climactic and I didn't spend any time there. It was a long day and people wanted to get back and rest for the big race. Because, oh yes, we had a marathon to run on Sunday!
But first we got 20 people together for a carb-loading dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. Locals AtomBuddy and Alice and Junblack joined the party.
Then it was time to try and sleep before our 3:30 wake up call.
<Race Report coming soon>
After the race the party was back at my house. We were joined by the wonderful Matzes, Kynan and Laura, to add to the Loop all-star flavor. Approximately 100 beers were disposed of, as well as a whole lot of food. Everyone was in good spirits, whether or not they had a good race. Because runners get each other. And Loopsters love each other. It's crazy wonderful and I can't get enough.

No comments:

Post a Comment