Being A Charlotte Thunder Road Cheerleader

So yesterday, I announced my big change! And now…I’m overwhelmed. Between the job change, the huge move and the transition at my own company…I’ve been sleeping very heavily but a lot less.

One thing I know is that  I had to make sure I took some time to just enjoy. And yesterday was definitely a day for that. I woke up early and walked outside on my porch to see tons of Noda Neighbors getting set up for the 2013 Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon which 35th street was the 21st mile marker!!

Being a finisher last year at the Thunder Road…I was so excited to be able to watch them go right by my house!

The Thunder Road organizers host a neighborhood spirit competition since the runners in the full marathon go through all of the neighborhoods circling uptown. It is a thing down here…Charlotte hosts a bunch of unique small places where they all have their “stereotypes.” This comes to help out when it comes to the marathon. I loved every minute of it.

Noda (Northern Arts District of Charlotte) had the neighborhood association draw all the way up 35th street with side walk chalk. They had two different sections of neighbors (one with a DJ and one with a band) and each had beer stations sponsored by the local brewery Bird Song. Yes…beer stations AND a bloody mary bar 🙂

Phin and I enjoyed the first stop the most with the DJ and the hilarious dancing neighbors. They even organized for the Bojangles Chicken to be a part of it AND the Charlotte Roller derby girls who were skating along the runners.

All in all…it was so much fun and so wonderful to be a part of! If it wasn’t the neighborhood spirit you would see a family member waiting for their runner to cheer them on.

And..some of the coolest things I saw:

1- Guy running marathon BAREFOOT. I was sad I wasn’t able to get a picture in time when I realized he was barefoot, but that is just SO cool.

2- The drinkers. These marathoners, as most call them, are crazy. But seeing them stop by the beer station we had was awesome. They were downing beer! One runner (a female) took some tylenol with the beer. Gotta love their spirit.

3- I saw what many see at marathons. Super moms. But this mom was special. It was her first marathon. She grabbed her kids and hugged them hard right next to me and her son (he looked to be about 6 years old) kept cheering her on. Amazing.

4- I didn’t take a picture of this story because I didn’t know if it was the right thing to do. After about 3 hours, I could tell the numbers were dwindling down. I started to head back to my porch, got more coffee and was sitting outside when I heard the cheering. It was the last runner. This young female was literally TRYING with all her might to keep in front of the police car. I’ve never seen this before and learned as her husband was biking next to her that she was training for months and had suffered some serious cramping. But she wanted to finish. She was determined. Not only that…she was pushing two other runners who she didn’t know across the finish line by continuing to cheer them on as they closely hit that 15 minute per mile mark. It was tough to see. You can imagine all of the training and hard work but the beauty of the determination and the character of this young woman reminded me why we run.

This is why I love Noda and Charlotte.

For all you runners who competed today and yesterday…congratulations!!

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