Our 'Run for the Fallen' this weekend was quite an experience. We both ran really well, and although we were hoping to run more, we got in about 26.5 miles (don't think anyone was able to run the whole 65 km). The run started in Ogunquit, ME and finished in Portland, ME. Due to the event's logistics and strict schedule, we were unable to run more than that. We ran as much as we possibly could at all times until the trolley picked us up and moved us along to maintain the event schedule. By no means were we running slow, but since most people were running much shorter distances (5km-10km or so), naturally they would be running faster.
It was a truly emotional event, with each kilometer commemorating one of Maine's fallen soldiers. Each kilometer was marked with a poster of a particular fallen soldier, and their families would stand by cheering and greeting the runners. It truly was quite a sight and feeling to run by these families who had suffered such great losses.
After the run, we were driven by trolley to Cape Elizabeth, where we had a nice lobster bake and made some new friends (who Miss Bethany excitedly chatted about Ironmans with). We were busy eating and chatting when the race director made an announcement that a special guest had arrived to greet all the families and all the runners. . . .
George W. Bush and his wife, Laura! They were incredibly personable, down-to-earth, and friendly. They stayed for hours, until every person had a chance to shake hands and take a picture with them.
What was really funny is how he shook Ryan's hand. First, we started out with a normal handshake, and then went into the full arm-wrestle-type handshake, as if we were old friends (see above.)
The first thing he did was comment on our Zensah sleeves, and then he asked if we were married and when we said 'not yet,' he asked if there was anything he could do to speed the process along. :-)
Pre-race display in Ogunquit's Veterans Square.
Leaving Ogunquit (Ryan in green, Miss Bethany too short to be seen).
One of the markers for one of the heroes along the way.
This cute little dude was awesome. When we ran past him, he jumped in and ran a bit with us, and then once he was getting out of shouting distance from his family, he stopped, and yelled to us 'GO GO GO GO GO GO!'
Another family of a fallen hero.
Some veterans/supporters along the course.
Getting ready to head over the Casco Bay Bridge for the last 4 km (notice Ryan changed his shirt, Miss Bethany in red, white and blue).
Coming into Portland.
Monument Square in Portland.
Our trolley, aptly named Holly.
Cape Elizabeth, where we had our lobster bake. If you've run Beach to Beacon, this sight may be familiar.
Post-run lobster bake.
Post-run lobstah (and un-clean hot dog :-), hey I needed to replenish the calories I burned)
All smiles after 26.5 miles and some lobstah :-)
It was a GREAT weekend. Miss Bethany always wanted to just catch a glimpse of an American president, nevermind shake hands, talk and get her picture taken with one!
We have some other pics from the rest of our Maine mini-vacation that we'll post later.