Where Up & Runners run, Up & Running cheer squads may follow. Last weekend when Italian Sara (who did our first 5K Course in 2011) ran the Loch Ness Marathon as her debut 26.2 miler, she had an Alumni crew on hand to jump around and cheer her like loonies.
Only slightly more loony than this great inflatable beast…
Friday night and Saturday morning consisted of pub chats and Parkrun, then on Sunday we arose at the butt crack of dawn to farewell the runners as they boarded the buses to the Loch Ness start line.
We couldn’t spot Sara and her husband Ale in the morning mist, but we had fun cheering and waving at random strangers all the same!
Since we were now awake and not in our jammies, we went for a stroll around the lovely Ness Islands…
A couple of hours later Andrea and René ran the River Ness 5K. They’d travelled from Germany to Scotland for their honeymoon, and tweaked their itinerary so they could finish in Inverness. They dressed up in top hat and veil for the three races of their Just Married tour…
After lunch we found a brilliant spot by the river to commence marathon cheering. So much fun. So much inspiration. So much nipple chafing!
Soon our voices were raw and hands clapped sore, but we found a second wind when our heros raced by, still smiling after 26 miles!
We found them at the finish line, both looking remarkably fresh as they sat on the grass with their medals and sponsored tins of soup. Just like when Aussie Anne did her first marathon last year, I felt rather teary seeing one of our dear runners collect the last badge in the Up & Running set.
Such a brilliant, life-affirming weekend that made me yet again thankful for the International Running Club slash Friend Machine that is Up & Running.