Melanie, Allison and I ran together for the first six miles. Melanie was the first leg of one of the relay teams, which switched at mile 6. About that time we spied most of the Smith family (Layne and three beautiful children), taking photos and giving high fives.
Allison and I kept running. As we ran along one side of Matilda, we saw Sally, then Stuart, then Jim, run back the other side. They were all ahead of us, and they all looked strong.
Just after we crossed Central Expressway for the second time and we started running south, the wind and accompanying dirt hit us hard. We trudged along.
The Katy Trail offered more surprises. The Brown family (Kris, James and their three gorgeous girls) plus the Domens again were there to boost our spirits. As soon as they saw us coming, they started hollering, and they didn't stop until we were out of earshot.
With about a mile to go, I was really dragging. I knew we would finish, but my legs and feet were unhappy.
Then we saw Will, not too far from the end of the Katy Trail. He told us that we were almost there, that the rest of the run was downhill, and that there was a big crowd of yellow waiting.
What an awesome sight! Liz, Holly and Melane had scoped out a great watching post and planted a camp chair for Steve. He was surrounded by Cooper and Katie (chaperoned by Grandma and Papa), a great crowd of more family, friends and runners who'd already finished. Over the fence I handed sweet Steve my finisher's medal.
Just after Allison and I finished
After lots of congratulatory hugs and kisses, we headed to the other side of the American Airlines Center to watch the full marathon runners cross.Mark crossed with great speed and a huge smile. The See Spot Run relay team gathered to cross the finish line together. Then the See Spot Run 2 team finished strong.
Steve with See Spot Run: Randy, Andy (with son Jared), Paul, Chris and Melanie
Lisa (of See Spot Run 2) and Steve
Steve was exhausted, but he was drawing strength from "his" runners. He positively glowed, reflecting the love that was surrounding him.
And the day got even better. Check back soon for details on our surprise carolers!
For more photos, taken by Melane, Steve, Layne and me, click here.
Tyra and Allison
Brooke, Katie and Molli
Jim, Betty, Uncle Jim, Cooper and Katie
Cooper and Will
Cooper, Katie and Sally
For results, click on each name:
Tyra Damm (Allison and I actually finished four minutes faster than expected!)
See Spot Run relay team (Melanie Domen, Randy Lasley, Paul Duddleston, Andy Lewis, Chris Werner)
See Spot Run 2 relay team (Lisa Cutright, Kelly Huffman, James Demasi, Jackie Trey Harrison, Jason Lee)
Thank you to ...
* All the See Spot Run runners and their families and friends who supported them during training
* Liz, captain of the team, organizer extraordinaire and supreme motivator
* Jim and Betty
* Jim and Betty's awesome gang of friends
* Elaine Dunn
* Holly Bassen
* Kris Brown
* Richie Whitt
* Everyone who bought a shirt in support of Steve (Melissa, Norm and Roy: I'll mail yours this week!)
* Folks who sent good luck notes
* Everyone who prayed for us
* And to Steve, our inspiration. Out Damm Spot!