So my family dragged me out to be the designated driver and official photographer of the 2010 Rock & Roll Half Marathon at Virginia Beach. This photo proves that I really do occasionally see the sunrise. Not willingly, but...
As I walked down the boardwalk before the race, it occurred to me that this flag might be the most important one of the day.
And, I figured, this would be the most important commodity.
Leading the racers out were two motorcycle officers.
Then came the leaders.
Then came the hordes.
And they kept coming...
... until the whole street was filled.
I thought all the racers were crazy. Some, however, were crazier than others...
I loved the look this character was getting from the racer on the right.
These two were surely attired for a race named Rock & Roll...
... but these two must have thought it was a ballet.
This character not only ran, but juggled while he ran.
The first of my family to pass my location was my brother Bill.
I don't think he was all that happy to see me.
But he decided to make the best of it...
... and smiled for the camera.
Despite my certainty that I didn't get a shot of my niece Hannah, she's the one on the left!
Hannah is on the far left and her brother, my nephew Ian, far right.
Ian and his friend Mandy chatted as they ran.
The walkers came by a while after the runners. On the left is my sister Kacy, on the right in the red is my brother Fred, and between them is Fred's lady Nicole.
They seemed most enthusiastic at the beginning of the race.
Another police officer brought up the rear after all the walkers had passed.
By the time I moved down the street to position myself for later, the serious runners were already heading into the last two miles.
Some ran for, and with, those who could not run for themselves.
Some ran on behalf of others. (The flag-carrier's shirt reads: "Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.")
Their shirts read: "Children's Tumor Foundation."
These two ran anonymously the whole race for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Some ran for those who will not run again. (The shirt and angel wings honored a young man who died while running the same race a year earlier.)
And some ran to prove they could start that race...
... and finish it too.
All the runners and walkers were protected all day long...
... every step of the way.
Bill was the first one to reach my position two miles from the finish.
He didn't seem quite as smiley as he was at the start.
Ian and Mandy were next (I missed Hannah on the way back, though).
Ian decided to mug for the camera.
This was Kacy's face when I told her she had only two more miles to go.
And THIS is when I asked her, "What took you so long?"
Fred and Nicole brought up the rear for the family.
I still think this is a MUCH better way of getting around the race course.
I did get to the finish line for the walkers. Here's Kacy on the boardwalk.
At that point, it was all thumbs up.
Fred and Nicole heading for the finish (at this point, Nicole said she'd had more fun having a root canal...)
But the whole crew was proud when they had all finished and had their medals.