Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nashville Women's Half Marathon

Yesterday was the inaugural Nashville Women’s Half Marathon. In my previous post, I talked about what made yesterday such a difficult day. However, I don’t want to forget what a great race it was! Prior to the race Mark and I had both volunteered for the race expo which was a lot of fun. It was great to see so many women excited about running. Women from 43 states registered for the Nashville Women’s Half Marathon. Amazing!

I will admit I had looked up the race course elevation map, which was probably not the best idea. As you can see it looks a little scary. Little did I know the actual course would be even harder than I thought! It was a really tough course and everyone should feel very accomplished just for finishing!

After the girls I run with and I had looked at the elevation map, we decided our goal was to finish together and smiling. We also decided we would have fun with it and enjoy ourselves. Mark and Erin were our personal paparazzi. We stopped to have our picture taken at some of Nashville’s recognizable places: the Hustler Hollywood store, Musica and Deja Vu.

Chrystyna, Gail, Nicole and I all finished within a couple minutes of each other. Victoria, Jeanie and Kelly all ran with us at various points. You all made running the race so much fun! I’m so proud of Kelly for finishing her first half and Chrystyna, Victoria and Nicole who all set personal records. My time was faster than my last half though not quite a PR, but I was so happy to help my friends get their PRs. I didn’t fall, which was an improvement from the last race.

One of my favorite things about the race was the personalized bibs. It was cool to have people yell out your name. It also helped when I recognized someone but wasn’t sure about their name. And it was a great way to motivate people who looked like they needed some extra encouragement. I also love the charm inside the medal; I’m wearing mine on a necklace right now.
Being a first year event, I was curious to see how the course support and cheerleading was going to be. It was fabulous! The Zumba team was my favorite. I’m sure they worked just as hard as the runners.

Congratulations to Women’s Running Magazine and to all the women who finished the race! It was a great event!

Lynn Manzelmann

I’ve heard of runners collapsing on the course or near the finish line. I know it happens, thankfully rarely. Without looking it up, it seems like overheating or exhaustion would be the leading causes. It seems reasonable to jump to the conclusion that maybe the person wasn’t adequately trained. But as I learned, that wasn’t the case at all.

Yesterday after the Women's Half Marathon, while still in the post race party area, I heard a runner had collapsed near the finish line. It’s a sad thing to hear. You don’t expect it to be someone you know. Or someone you’ve talked to the last few weeks about training. Or someone who helped start and lead a training group.

Lynn Manzelmann is the runner who went down just before the finish line. I’d talked to her before the race. Along with other members of Nashville Cable, a women’s networking group, we’d gotten together before the race and had a picture made. Before the picture, she was telling me about the intervals they were going to do. She was so excited and so vibrant! I saw her running with some other fabulous ladies from CABLE at the half way point; she looked fantastic.

Lynn was well trained. She’d been training as long or longer than many other people running in the race. She had a heart attack. It was a 90% blockage. The last update I got last night from one of her good friends at the hospital was that her organs were shutting down, but she was hanging on. She needs a miracle to make it.

She’s strong. She’s a fighter. And she has a huge host of friends and fellow runners praying for her. Please continue to pray for her.

As a side note, the race was fabulous. I'll have another post this afternoon about the race.