Monday, November 21, 2011

The Triangle Expressway Trot

I'm not a runner. As far as I'm concerned, bicycling > running. But if I were a runner, I definitely would have participated in yesterday's Triangle Expressway Trot. Amber was running in it, though, as were a few of our friends, so it was a good opportunity to come to one of Amber's races (for once) and show my support.

What's so special about the TriEx Trot? It's a race along the yet-to-be-opened Triangle Expressway, which will become North Carolina's first toll road in another month or two. Exercise and roadgeeking, together at last! I mean, how often do you get to hang out on a major freeway? Will there ever be another opportunity for me to get a picture of Marla and her stroller in the middle of a road like this?

This was actually the first running race of any kind that I can remember going to. Here's how it works from the perspective of a spectator: 1) You watch everyone go. 2) For the next 15 minutes, you're bored. (The Marla picture was taken during those 15 minutes.) 3) At the 15 minute mark, you start looking for the winner to make his (or her) way back. 4) For the next 30 minutes after that, you start looking for people you know to finish, trying to get a picture of each of them at the finish line.

So, here's the winner:

Yes, I got the timer in the picture by design. But from that point on, there were people were standing between me and the timer, so I wasn't able to get the timer in anyone else's picture.

And, actually, I wasn't able to capture everyone I know on camera at the finish line. I was usually too late. I also tried to give everyone I know a high-five after the finish line, but you see, here's the thing with that. Running a 5K is hard, and when you're finished, you're exhausted, and you're not exactly interested in high-fiving any of the spectators, or even looking at the spectators. See why I don't run? I never feel like that when I'm done with a bike ride.

Well, anyway, I was able to get a picture of Amber at the finish line, and right under the arch, too:

This was Amber's first 5K since before she was even pregnant. She did great! She ran the whole thing. The only other people I was able to get pictures of at the finish line were Maggie and Adam, who are somewhere in these two pics:

What is it like to run on an expressway? According to the runners, it was hot (race time temperature 73°F, dew point 55°F, with the sun out) and spacious. And with the wide, straight freeway, you could see the finish line from very far away, which was kind of a tease.

One more picture: the official mascots of the Triangle Expressway Trot.

Maybe I'll have to take my bike out on the TriEx before it opens, if that's possible and legal.

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