I finished the marathon yesterday. In fact, 24 hours ago from right now (when I'm typing) I was about 3 minutes away from the finish line. The weather was perfect and I really couldn't have asked for a better day!
I was able to run with my friend for 16 miles or so; then he wanted to slow down a bit but I was still feeling great and continued along without him. In fact, I ran the second half of the marathon 37 seconds faster than the first half -- the first time I've ever had a negative split! I beat my goal time by about 11 minutes.
Thomas was working in the medical tent, so I stayed at the finish line area longer than I have in the past (we were sharing a car). And that led to a great experience. About an hour after I had finished, the person announcing all of the finishers' names had to leave his post to announce the awards ceremony. I happened to be chatting with a volunteer near the announcer's podium and the next thing I knew, I was up on the scaffolding and announcing!
In a marathon, the participants wear a chip on their shoe. This helps to ensure proper timing. One year there were so many runners that it took me 15 minutes to cross the start line and you don't want that time added to your finishing time! In this race, a mat was placed about a hundred yards before the finish line. The names of the participants popped up on a computer set up on the scaffolding, so I could announce who was about to finish.
It was the perfect way to spend an hour, and then the announcer came back and took over for me.
Yesterday was one of those almost-perfect days that I want to bundle up and keep with me forever! I had been on the fence about completing another marathon after this one as I'd had a few unpleasant training runs. However, after yesterday I know I'll be signing up again for next year!