I’m typically the last of my friends to finish, so my first inclination is to go find them, take a couple of commemorative photos and get on the road. I’ve seen beer tents and even group Zumba at some of the events I’ve attended, but it’s just not my thing.
In fact, when I finished my first Turkeyman Trot 5K race with my favorite teen-age runner we high-fived and walked off without giving the finish a second glance, glad to see my good friend Karen was there to cheer us in but also looking forward to eating pie after our Thanksgiving dinner.
As for my favorite post-race celebration, I’ve got to say it was my first full marathon in October. I trained for about five months for that sucker and ran for almost six hours straight. Seeing my friends at the finish line almost brought tears to my eyes. But I don’t really cry, so the tears remained unshed.
And then I saw el husbando and two of our kids and I forgot about every single step I took to get to the finish. It was pretty emotional and rewarding. I barely noticed the women handing out medals to the few stragglers that came in with me.
I may have jumped up and down with my friend and running mentor Janet as we hugged right after, she wearing a green tutu after pacing the half marathon and waiting — with a few others — for hours to be part of this mini celebration.
I was touched that they would spend so much time waiting just to see me finish. Several said they were proud. All of them made me feel like what I had just done mattered, even if the race organizers were already clearing out.
I’m not sure that I’ll ever beat any of my friends’ times, but I certainly hope that someday I can repay the favor. And, who knows, maybe I’ll be the one wearing the green tutu. Or, more likely, be the one to think to bring pie.
How about it? How do you celebrate after a race? What was your most-emotional post-event celebration?