Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mary Jewell and the Brussels 20K





Dream Big Dreams, Then Strap Up Your Boots and Get to Work - Art Wesslehof
This past weekend the Family made the trek to Brussels Belgium. Mary had signed up for the Brussels 20K and was a 3 day weekend for us. We arrived in Brussels late Friday and had a great time Friday and Saturday walking to town and seeing the sights. It's a really neat city with lots of good food and of course Chocolate, Belgian Waffles and Beer.
Sunday dawned and it was time to run. Yet not like the USA with a 6, 7 or 8am race start. No, this is Europe and here they have liberty to decide when to start. So this particular event 25,000 runners strong started at 3:00pm. Some things to note about this event and 3:00pm starts.
The entry fee was 15 euros. You can't find a 10K for $15 let alone a major, shut a city of one million down 20K. But in some respects, you get what you pay for. No race t-shirts here. And whether it was Europe or the entry fee there was not a line of porta potties. In fact if you wanted to use the 3 portable bathrooms it cost you 50 cents. 3 bathrooms and 25,000 runners don't mix. So, Note the picture at the bottom. Marco and I watched the start from roughly 200 meters infront. That was our backside view for the next 10 minutes. The guys ran 200 meters and pulled off into the bush. It was rather disgusting but not nearly as disgusting as it was for Mary. Somewhere along the route a guy was finishing his businees and flicked his pee all over her leg. Of course that didn't make Mary too happy.
Water Stations - for the runners up front the water stations are great. They hand you a small bottle of water. It's much easier to drink and carry a bottle of water. Problem is the organizers obviously don't ever run at the back. Runners in the middle and the back have to deal with a sea of empty bottles on the course. If you think about it probably 75,000 bottles.
Feet - If you know me well enough you know I am a freak about taking care of your feet. Not that I have beautiful feet but they are tough and fairly bullet proof. Mary is great about keeping her feet smooth and soft. Now add to that a 3:00pm slightly swollen feet and the finally just a pair of socks you pull out of the drawer (not those special ones you've tested over and over). This combination is disasterous. Poor Mary came across the line with not one, not two but three big blisters. She's still limping around today.
The event for Mary. Even though it was a learning event for her because of the above, she had fun. Her goal is Berlin Marathon in September so a little toughening of the feet won't kill her now.
The event for Marco and I was a blast. We sat out by the finishline party, counted running shoes and listened to the Brazillian drum band pictured above. It was a good way to have some fun for both of us.
Posting Soon with some extra secret fun.
It's a good life...
Dave
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