okay, this was my favorite part of the weekend: meeting up with my friends from both l.a. and the o.c. to cheer on six fabulous girls who were running the l.a. marathon. the monkey has pictures that are FAR superior to mine, plus a great recap here, as does kate.
because i was leaving as soon as service was over, i totally broke one of my rules and wore jeans to church. i know it doesn't seem like a big deal, and a lot of folks in the congregation do so regularly, but the hub and i always wear nicer clothes to church. it just seems weird not to! but i drew the line at wearing my vans. instead, i stuck a pair of socks inside and put them next to my bag to change into on my way to the train station.
um, except for that i was a dumb ass and completely forgot to scoop 'em up in my rush to load the bean into the car and get out of the house. shit. well, at least i was wearing flats that were still fairly comfy. but still, boo.
i haven't relied on public transportation since the early '90s, when the buses were still known as the RTD and it only cost, like, $.60 to ride it. i'd taken the kid and her BFF on the metro's gold line once a couple of summers ago, though, and it was easy and fun. plus, it was the only way to go for the marathon - i could avoid the hassle of navigating around road closures, looking for (and paying a premium for!) parking, etc. i could park for free at the station, which was the beginning of the line, and ride for 29 minutes to union station, which was the end of the line.
i stupidly parked in a shitty, faraway spot (completely forgetting that the closer spaces, normally "permit only," were totally good on weekends), bought my one-day metro pass, and literally RAN across the bridge to get to the waiting train. i knew the trains were running more frequently due to the demand that day, but i still didn't want to chance sitting around for a big 12 minutes for the next one. i huffed and puffed my ass over, and plopped into a seat in the nearly-empty train.
i hadn't brought a book or anything, so i amused myself during the trip by going through all the pictures on my cell phone. i'm sure you'll be shocked to know that i'd actually used up all the storage space on it - and so i deleted a bunch of old ones and giggled my way through the videos i also had saved. i traded a few text messages with amber, who was in her car, fighting traffic, heading towards union station.
once we arrived, i skipped down the stairs (yes, i skipped) and through the tunnel, where amber was waiting with a bagful of stuff for the goody bags she and r were putting together for the runners. she'd put together some cutely decorated containers full of epsom salt, plus some hilarious tissue packs (TOJ packets, for those of you in the know) that were perfectly color-coordinated with the red and black theme. she even had little stickers with the marathon's official logo for them! awesome.
we headed over to the red line, where r's train was due to arrive any moment. and before we could even think of looking at the schedule, she appeared, just like magic, loaded down with even more bags and a couple of signs.
in the waiting area, we worked together to assemble the rest of the goody bags (they were adorable - see the monkey's recap for visuals) and sign the cards. and as we chatted excitedly, WeeMo arrived, armed with her own fabulous hand-lettered and color-coordinated signs.
it wasn't long before the o.c. gang arrived, also with cute signs - and husbands! those guys were troupers, seriously - and so nice, too. and then it was time to head over to philippe's for a quick lunch before coming back to union station and catching another train to the race.
i'm a major dork who loves to cackle at typos. so i damn near doubled over in mirth when i spied these as we walked through the station:
as we walked across the street en route to philippe's, we laughed at jenn, who was gesturing towards olvera street - but we heard "elvira street." it took a couple of us looking for big fake plastic boobies and long dark hair before we realized what she'd actually meant. hee!
the sun was out in a big way - quite a difference from the previous day's weather, which had been cooler and drizzly. the monkey and i sweated our asses off and were pretty happy when we finally arrived - philippe's is a little further than it looks, people. not really far, but just far enough. and soooo worth it, i must say.
mm-hmm, that's two lemonades. i already knew from previous experience that i'd plow right through one and be too lazy to stand in line for another. and the chips are face-down because, let's face it - i ain't getting paid to sell 'em. that's a custard cup, which as my dear friend MBOC blurted out, looked gross, but it was delish. of course, i was too full to finish it, but when i tossed down my spoon in defeat, WeeMo picked it up and helped me out. i'd grabbed a napkin for her to wipe it off first, but she brushed me off, saying "dude, i don't care. you're like my sister." i laughed, but as i thought about it, i realized i wouldn't have cared either. hahaha!
after we were all happily stuffed, we made our way back to union station and hopped onto the train to 7th street, which was less than a block from where we wanted to be. WeeMo, our downtown l.a. tour guide, had already scoped out the best place to claim a spot and wait for the runners. the 26-mile marker was right at 7th and flower, and we were facing the runners, who after turning that corner were looking at the very last .2 miles of the race. it was truly an ideal spot.
we met up with kim and her hub keith, who had stayed at the nearby bonaventure hotel, and after scanning the runners for a bit, we all began jumping up and down, wildly cheering on a female runner in a purple tank, visor, and long dark ponytail. we were SO stoked - until she passed by and we realized it wasn't diane after all. oops. after we laughed our asses off over our mistake, we decided to split up in the hopes of getting better spots. obviously, our "ideal spot" was quite popular with lots of other folks, too, and we had to stand around and wait for people to leave before we could scoot up and get a better view. so the o.c. half of our cheering section ended up across the street, near a sign that offered motivation via ice cream:
and we were facing a building that had freaky faces scowling down at us. they were kinda scary, but they sure didn't stop me from grinning like a fool for a quick self-portrait, though.
yup, that's r behind me. hee!
the "official honda filming crew" drove slowly by, filming the cheering spectators. of course, we waved our signs and yelled like crazy people when the camera passed us, and laughed at how we became instantly quiet once they were gone. we also amused ourselves by helping people around us cheer for their loved ones as they passed us - which was especially funny because the runner would hear us yelling their name, turn to wave, and get the most comical, puzzled look on their faces. seriously, those faces read "who the FUCK are you?" they'd wave back gamely, and keep on running. we hoped that they were told the story later on. heh.
we'd signed up on a website to track our runners, which was rather cool. it gave us a good idea of when we could expect them to run past us towards the finish line. and finally, the "real" diane ran by! we hooted, hollered, held up our signs, and waved furiously at her, and me being the sap i am, i totally teared up watching her approach her goal. so exciting!
she was actually running with andrea, but unfortunately, i didn't manage to catch her on film. i also managed to completely miss a shot of kim as she sprinted by, all smiles and happiness, but we had a ball cheering her on.
and not too much later, here came cat. my piece-of-shit camera was just too damn slow, but i swear to you this is her:
there was a lady standing next to us who was attempting to cheer on her niece. "i think she's wearing purple, and i think she has dark hair, but i just don't know. is that her? OMG! go veronica! [r helps her cheer at this point] woohoo! veronicaaaaaaaa! ["veronica" passes] hmm. i'm not really sure if that was her. was that her? [as if we would know what YOUR niece looks like] i called her, but i had to leave a message. i'm pissed that she didn't answer. [um, she's running a MARATHON, you idiot] i don't know why she didn't answer. do you think that was her? [again, lady, we don't fucking know your niece] maybe it was. oh, i just don't know."
and so on, and so on. finally, her phone rang and we heard "that WAS you! i couldn't tell, but i'm here at the end, and i've been waiting for you. i called you, but you didn't answer." i turned away, giggling as quietly as i could, while amber just squeezed my arm and the monkey patted me on the back. oh man, it was just so. damn. funny.
then there was the other woman, standing not far from us, yelling for her [insert relation here]. she waved a wrapped bouquet of flowers, tossed it half-assed-ly towards the runners, and it landed a few feet away. "GET IT!" she yelled.
"get it"?? seriously?
not surprisingly, the flowers stayed right where they were until one of the event staff came over, picked it up, and handed it back to her. dumb ass. whoever-it-was just ran 26 fucking miles. she's not going to backtrack .2 miles from the finish line to pick up your stupid ass flowers.
and then jess and aline ran by. whee!! and again, i teared up at their accomplishment. oy.
once we realized that all six of our girls had finally crossed the finish line, we met back up with the o.c. cheering section and attempted to make our way to where the runners were. and of course, with road blocks and lots of security to enforce it, we never quite made it. we attempted to go through the bonaventure hotel (where there was supposedly a bridge to cross to the area we wanted to be in), and were initially shut down. but amber, who obviously thinks fast on her feet, smiled and batted her eyelashes at one of the doormen, who promptly let us in.
sadly, the woman stationed at the bridge wasn't so easily moved. she called for backup and we slunk back into the hotel in defeat. on our way back to the metro stop, i snapped a picture of the bacon-wrapped hot dogs that were so tantalizing:
no, i didn't get one, but i sure wanted to. they just smelled so freaking good.
before we finally parted ways, we took a group picture.
we were sad not to have been able to see all of the girls, but we sure were proud of 'em. they raised a crapload of cash for the leukemia & lymphomia society, put in a lot of time and effort into training for the big day, and ran the entire thing like champs. "go, nesties, go" indeed!