I am not sure if I mentioned before, but you can normally get discount rates for hotels for coming for the marathon. I didn't know this until we looked online at our hotel options. Some of the standard, nice hotels were like $169 for the night. Totally doable. But, then I saw that the Ritz was $179, and hello, it was my birthday weekend that I was sacrificing for the hubby. So we totally went for the Ritz. It was well worth it - the service was outstanding and they even had hot apple cider in the lobby. And we had an amazing view on top of it. It was swee-et.
We arrived, gave a quick hello to Ian's parents, then we were off to walk to the expo to pick up his running day packet. We had unusually warm weather for the weekend which was amazing - in the 40's and 50's. The expo was incredibly disorganized and chaotic, so my claustrophobic self stayed in one spot and waited while Ian did his thing. We quickly made it out of there where we caught up with fellow marathon runner Kim, her hubby Jeremy, and her friend Kristin for the walk back to our hotels.
We made it back to our hotel just as my brother and his wife arrived. They wanted to go check out the city, see the liberty bell, and take some amazing photos (which I will be displaying at the end of the post). So we each got some hot apple cider and ventured out. We took a good hour to walk around and then made it back to the hotel to give ourselves a few minutes to change before dinner.
The in-laws, brother and SIL and Ian and I walked to dinner a few blocks away. We had dinner with Kim and Jeremy, and another friend Beth and her hubby who was also running in the marathon. We went to Davios where the runners had lots of pasta, and the nonrunners ate wayyy too much food. It was awesome.
We went back to the Ritz and grabbed a quick drink before calling it a night since we had to be up early on Sunday - race day! I finished making Ian's signs while he got his stuff lined up for the morning.
Sunday, Ian was up and out the door by 6 a.m. I decided to skip going to the start line, and instead the family met him at miles 1 and 6. He was in great spirits at both of those miles which was good to see. In between mile 6 and the finish, we grabbed a quick bite to eat. We walked the 2 miles to the finish line and set up camp. We anxiously awaited his arrival, and soon we saw his cute face coming up the incline. My brother acted like the paparazzi and snapped some great photos. Surprisingly, Ian still looked comfortable, although I'd later learn that he was just freaking relieved to see us and for it to be over.
So he finished his first marathon in 4:09, which personally, I think is AWESOME! He was hoping to beat 4:00 - but overall he's super happy to just be finished. Seeing him finish was emotional and we both got a little choked up. I'm not really sure why it was - but it was motivating and a proud moment to see him finish his goal after months of training.
He called out sick today because he can barely walk, and he thinks that will be his only marathon (I'm a little pleased about the second piece).
Here are lots of pictures from our weekend:
Mile 6 again: (and clearly, he was feeling comfortable as he was goofing off)
And mile 26:
And after the race - I saw him and ran to give him a big hug:
And the sign I made said "Brits Do It Better".
And what am I holding in the other hand?
Kim's husband gave Kim, Ian and Paul a bottle of champagne - so cute!