It seems like just yesterday when I introduced you all to Josher. This past weekend was the Salt Lake City Half Marathon that he ran IN JEANS and A DENIM VEST thanks to the generous donations from YOU. Once again, I hope you enjoy his recap as much as I did.
My Day Spent Running ‘Forever in Blue Jeans’
“Why are you running in long pants?”
No, that wasn’t my subconscious challenging me out of my race in denim. That was about every other runner who took the time to scan my attire as they passed me by. Not to mention the number of spectators, volunteers, and police officers that realized what I was wearing.
I figured I would get many of those comments during the race. That’s why people do crazy things…like running a half marathon in FULL-DENIM. The attention to ‘Denim for a Cure’ in its efforts to raise money for the Huntsman Cancer Institute through Huntsman Hometown Heros is invaluable. Plus, cancer sucks and the faster we find a cure the better society will be off in the long run.
Like my 10K race in blue jeans last month I decided to take some notes of my experience running the Salt Lake City Half Marathon in not just blue jeans, but FULL-DENIM! It was quite an experience (and challenge).
4:46am – My alarm sounds. I lay in bed trying to remember why I am getting up this early. (This happens before every race that starts before 9am.)
4:52am – I put on my “running” gear. Compression shorts, socks, pants, denim vest, pink bandana and pink shoes.
4:53am – I realize I forgot to apply my anti-chaffing cream so have to painstakingly remove my shoes and pants to properly lather myself up. I am not chaffing today!
4:54am – The pants and shoes go back on and I am…FINALLY…dressed.
5:02am – [Go into my brother’s room to wake him up and the following conversation ensues]
…Me: Free (His middle name is Freedom), it’s time to wake up! It’s a little past 5 now.
…Brother: Why are we getting up this early?!
…Me: To run!
5:10am – I prepare my breakfast of champions of oatmeal, a banana and Red Bull while Free stumbles together a concoction of Raisin Bran, Captain n’ Crunch and I think…Fiber One?! I question his selection, he just tells me to shut up. I can’t blame him, it is 5am.
5:18am – I creep into my Mom’s room. Noticing she is still sound asleep I just silently whisper a ‘goodbye’ and ‘I love you.’
5:24am – Free and I hop in the car and head for Downtown Salt Lake.
5:26am – We turn around after I notice that I left my phone on the kitchen counter.
5:28am – Free and I hop in the car and head for Downtown Salt Lake.
5:53am – We meet up with a friend who is running with me and take the train up to the starting line near the University of Utah Hospital.
6:45am – It’s decided we need to use the restrooms along with thousands of other runners.
6:52am – Still waiting for an open Honey Bucket.
6:55am – I start contemplating who’s idea it was to name a port-a-potty ‘Honey Bucket.’ No matter what you call it, it’s still going to smell like…
6:58am – Two minutes to gun time. Still waiting.
7:00am – Gun goes off and the race begins…still waiting for a Honey Bucket.
7:01am – Still waiting.
7:02am – Still waiting.
7:03am – Still waiting.
7:04am – Still waiting.
7:05am – Success!
7:08am – A quick stretch and we’re off! We might be pushing up the rear, but at least we’re not weaving through countless other runners. I might try this again?!
7:12am – My first comment from a runner comes as I chat with my friend.
7:17am – My friend Joe, who’s Mom is battling her own battle with breast cancer is on the side of the road (in full-denim mind you) yelling at me, “GO DENIM MAN! GO!” This made my day. He wasn’t even done.
7:23am – I quickly tire answering the question, “Are you seriously running in long pants?” All I can think is, “Well, I’m here running next to you in the race wearing long pants. What do you think?”
7:38am – Three miles into my run and I notice that I probably started my race a bit too fast. The legs are yelling at me.
7:46am – I hear someone singing “Rock it like a Hurricane” a couple runners behind me. I throw ‘em the horns.
7:47am – I start singing “Rock it like a Hurricane”…this is the curse of not running with an iPod.
8:04am – I get to Sugarhouse Park and I hear the following conversation between two women happening somewhere behind me.
…Woman #1: Oh, my gosh! He’s an idiot! He’s running in long pants!
…Woman #2: He’s going to die! There’s no way I could do that!
…Woman #1: I’d be burning up by now.
…Woman #2: But, that’d be a great way to lose weight, kind of like how wrestlers run in garbage bags.
…Woman #1: Maybe I should start running in long pants!
8:16am – In my attempt to get ‘Rock it like a Hurricane’ out of my head. I start singing Forever in Blue Jeans.
8:32am – I run into my friend Joe again as he yells to the top of lungs for “DENIM MAN!” I stop to get my picture with him.
8:38am – Just minutes after rendezvousing up with Joe, I meet a 77 year old woman running the half marathon. Her name is Elfie, she’s from Germany and claims to never have trained for a race in her life, she just walks fast everywhere. I’m marveled at her persistence and also question her definition of “running” and “walking fast.”
9:16am – I reach ‘Mile 9’ with my legs completely exhausted and take a break at the aid station with Gatorade and Clif Bars. I’m a bit anxious and worried that I might be overheating a bit. Temperatures are starting to reach 60-65 degrees.
9:21am – I get rejuvenating at one of the picture points when the two photographers react to my appearance like I am a rock star. I oblige by showing off my ‘Denim for a Cure’ shirt, a huge smile and…again…throw them the horns.
9:33am – As I cross an intersection I hear one cop observe to another officer, “Oh brother, that’s the wrong kind of running gear.”
9:42am – I turn onto State Street and start my climb towards downtown.
9:47am – I pass the Downtown Sears store where there’s usually a taco stand. It must too early for them, which is too bad, because I could really use a Horchata right about now.
9:52am – I pass Elfie and am relieved that I will finish before her.
9:57am – I take my last turn and head towards the finish line. As I pass the new City Creek Center and Temple Square I get out my phone and call my Mom. Tired and exhausted; I breathlessly tell her we are crossing the finish line together.
10:00am – That crazy guy on his phone who ran in denim crosses the finish line as my brother and friends cheer my accomplishment.
10:01am – I tell my Mom this race is more for her than anything, because I never would have tried something this crazy if she didn’t mean so much to me. I tell her I love her and hang up.
10:06am – I stumble around the finish line taking all the free offerings of ice cream, Red Bulls, and water.
10:09am – I get my photo taken with my finisher’s medal in my denim. The photographer can’t believe I ran all 13.1 miles in denim. I take a moment and can’t believe it either. All I can do is smile and thank God for the experience.