A special blog report by Melanie!
On Sunday December 4th, the streets of Sacramento became a magical place filled with thousands of runners for the CIM. The crowds were cheering, the bands were playing and it was easy to forget that the finish line is almost in the exact spot where the 9run6 crew meets for its morning workouts. But it felt like coming home. 9run6 represented with about 10 people who completed the marathon. For at least three people, this was their first marathon ever, for others they were looking to accomplish either a personal best of a Boston Qualifying time. Some members of 9run6 were not running the race but volunteered or cheered on the sidelines. Seeing those friendly faces along the course was priceless!
The weekend began on Saturday when members of 9run6 were spotted around the capitol all completing their final shake out runs and watching the tents and festivities get set up. On race morning, some member’s car pooled to the start while others took the traditional bus route. For a first-timer, like myself, the anxiety was starting to set in and I knew a long wait at the start could be enough to drive me mad. But luckily, the 9run6 crew travels in packs and I quickly found the crew at our designated meeting spot where they were able to talk me out of all of my anxiety, and before I knew it I was running the race. In my case, I was lucky to have someone volunteer to run with me for at least half of the race. This was a great support that not only helped the time pass for the first half, but kept me confident and my anxiety in check.
Before coming to 9run6 I really had no intention of ever running a marathon. Six short months later, I finished my first marathon at CIM. Working out with 9run6 was the first time it even occurred to me that maybe I could run a marathon and then later gave me the tools to prepare and the support to succeed. As the race concluded and the pictures on social media exploded, it was clear that everyone had a successful and meaningful race, whether they were able to qualify for Boston or finish. But just as quickly as the magic appeared, in the afternoon the streets went back to normal and the crowds disappeared. We are left with our memories and our medals thinking, wow did that really happen?