NYC Half: Dinner with Champions (Kara, Kim, Ritz, Meb, Desi, Adam&Colt Goucher, and…!)

I had attended this event last year too, when one of my best friends (ket’smeow!) invited me:

so of course I said yes again. It’d also be our friendship anniversary…! We had lots of elite running fun last year, and took lots of pictures (all here A Night with Champions: Kara, Ryan, Meb, Edna, Gebre, Adam, and Colt!).

We got there a bit later this time as we had to catch up… As soon as we got upstairs, it was fun time. I spotted Ritz right away of course! We talked for a bit as people hadn’t recognized him yet… what he had coming up, about the last time he run the half and how the course was different this time. He then talked about how hard Central Park is, and told me about this race he had run once that he won. And I totally remembered that race as it was the first race I had ever run in Central Park after the half, I remember him winning and donating all his winnings to the Kidney Foundation (that sponsored the race) as his grandfather had been affected by it… I was so impressed with him that day, that I remembered it all 5 years later…

Wished him luck and really hoped he could win, but the field is sooo ridiculous. He needs to move to NY and do all our races!!

Two seconds later I spot Adam, and Colt and Kara walk in. Gosh, Kara’s arms are IMPRESSIVE, “it’s because of carrying this little guy around!”, everything is crosstraining, isn’t it?? And her hair is darker!! If I want to beKara for Halloween again, I’ll need to go darker! She said she likes to try new stuff. Intereeeeeesting…! Adam and I chatted for a bit, about his book Running the Edge, which I love, and working on other stuff. He said they might go over to Kara’s posters (the ones I blogged about) and take pictures, and luckily grandma was around to take over Colt who was getting bored with all these runners!

Happy-looking and fast family! And this girl in the middle, hummm.

Turned around and there was Kim Smith. Whenever I see or hear her name I always remember how fiercely she pushed in Boston and took a very early lead and crazy pace last year. That was crazy to watch. Crazy inspiring. “It didn’t work out though”, she said.Oh, but she’s such a Pre. We talked for a long time, then I started telling her about the course, she kept asking and I pulled my course map from my Kate Spade, because you always have to have a course map wherever you go!! I’ll be thinking about you going up that hill, she said, about Harlem hill. Of course you will. But then you can hit the gas as soon as you’re clear of that and push. She seemed happy to know this stuff and really really ready to go run this race right that second. The Girl is FIERCE.

We get some more drinks (ginger ale for me please!!!) and then turned around and Meb was there. Clearly, Meb and Kara were the most popular there, they come to NYC often, then take over the city and have big sponsors that make sure we all know about them. Getting to Meb wasn’t as easy, but we managed. My friend said did Meb know you? he seemed to recognize you! Ha, I’ve met him one million times before, but I don’t think so. We talked about the course again, I had to be fair to everyone really… then about UCan, cause I get it at work, and he reccomended chocolate and vanilla (as I said it can be quite chalky), and you know, the stuff, NYC Half, the marathon, the Olympic trials, all packed in 2 minutes with a second for a picture too!

They then group everyone together, and do some speeches… From left, Kim Smith, Desi Davila, Meb, Caroline Rotich.

Kara was on the other side of the room.

Below: check Ritz right on Kara’s shoulder.

Then Mary Wittenberg, in pink, talked. We all listened of course.

And laughed too, apparently.

Up: check out Kara’s osom grey suede boots. HAWTNESS!

Then we break out again, so I get to Desi. I had never met her before (other than having dinner right before the Boston marathon 1 yard away from her!) and I felt HUGE. Also, I felt crazy… she’s so quiet and maybe shy… and I am so not! We even got in a bit of an argument over a boy and I was ready to fight Desi off, all joking of course…!!!!! 

Then the photo op! I positioned myself to get a good one. Like??

We let them be after. Then need rest and sleep and I did too. That was the only thing I was going to do for this race and it hadn’t worked out so far… We still did go outside for a bit of the view from the Time Warner Center, but it had been foggy all day…

Foggy or not, I love this city. And I love my friends. And I love that I get to hang out with all this people like it’s normal. It feels totally normal to me, but I know it’s not. I still try to wrap around my head sometimes about the things that have become normal to me and not take them for granted. One thing that I do all the time and I still always get excited about is running the park, mostly in the reservoir, at night, with the whole skylike lit up.I really hope that the excitment that is this city never grows old to me. And just around the corner, I had the NYC Half, that runs thru my park, and Times Square, and all the way to the other end of the city. How could anyone not be super super excited about that. I know I was. More about that SOON.

NYC Half: Dinner with Champions (Kara, Kim, Ritz, Meb, Desi, Adam&Colt Goucher, and…!)

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