Sunday - 9/9/07 - Day3
Day 3 started with me jolting awake from a weird dream at around 4am. I dreamt that I woke up to find Susan packed and gone. When I left my tent I was standing in the middle of an empty field. Everyone was gone and I had missed day 3! Luckily it was a dream and I went back to sleep until I heard movement at around 5am. By that point I was ready to get up and get going! We packed up our duffel bags and tent, had breakfast, dropped our stuff off at the luggage truck and got in line for the bus.
Day 3 started with a bus ride from Burien to Lincoln Park! It was such a welcome sight to be let off at the park where I'd done much of my personal training for this event. I knew every turn between there and Seacrest!
We headed North along Beach Drive and took our time trying to enjoy our last day. We passed this clown playing a harp for her mother and were moved to stop and reflect.
At the first Pit Stop I called Chris and found out that he and my parents were having breakfast at the Alki Cafe waiting for us to pass! I told them we'd be there in about 30-45 minutes and we hit the route again. We rounded the point (where I yelled to Kevin through his window) and started the trek towards the Alki business district. We kept talking about Starbucks and how wonderful it would be to have a latte to get us moving. We were in about 1/2 block of it when I spotted Chris in front of Starbucks! I skipped along that last bit and ran up to give him a huge Happy 1 year Anniversary hug! Mom and Dad were in Starbucks waiting in the huge line to get drinks for Melissa Dennis and I. Boy did that latte taste great! We stayed and hugged/laughed/cried/visited with them for a while and planned to meet again at the pit stop near Seacrest. I was totally energized from seeing them and getting to hug/smooch Chris! Shortly after that we ran into my friend Christy who came to watch us/cheer us on/take photos of us. She walked along with us from there to the next pit stop where once again my family was waiting!
I was sad to say goodbye to my parents at that point, they had to head back to Wenatchee for a dinner party, but it was a good feeling knowing that we only had about 8 more miles to go! We took off for the Delridge Community Center where we had lunch and waited for the entire Hottie team for a group picture.
Once all of that was taken care of we headed north on Delridge towards Spokane St and the First Ave South Bridge. I had never walked along that path before and it was quite an experience! Now I know how to go if I ever want to walk home from work. Shortly after we turned onto 1st Ave heading towards downtown we ran into the Parrot Club again for some Gatoritas! Yummilicious!
Our final pit stop of the event was at the Ivars Clam Bake are next to Safeco Field. Too bad the beer tent wasn't open!! We had 3 miles left and this is where the Hotties really showed what it meant to be a team. We had a few Hotties suffering injuries but we all took it upon ourselves to get them all to the end of the route (even if they had to stop and ice!).
I had the pleasure of walking the last 3 miles with fellow Hottie Amy who was suffering from a bum knee. We walked slowly, and gingerly, and Barry followed behind us singing songs and leading us in the cadence. I'll never forget those last 3 miles. Everyone that saw us stopped to smile and say thanks. And then the most amazing thing happened. We were there. We turned right and entered a downhill slope into the Seattle Center where we were greeted by tons of cheering walkers and supporters. We all welled up with tears and slowly progressed to the holding area smiling, laughing, crying and waving. As we reached the top of the stairs leading into the holding area we heard a burst of cheers from our fellow Hotties who were already there. We slowly got Amy down the stairs and walked the final few feet to the finish area, laughing, crying and hugging some more.
We made it! We gathered our t-shirts (they are so cute!), ate Popsicles, and began to say our preliminary goodbyes to our fellow Hotties. And then we got ready for the closing ceremonies.
They lined all of the survivors up first - 4 fellow Hotties made their way over to the front. Then they lined up the rest of the walkers 5 by 5 and prepared us to head onto the field (Mercer Arena).
And then we were there. Surrounded by the 2,400 other walkers with thousands of friends and family in the stands.
And then.....and then it was over. And it was time to go back home, back to life, back to reality. Back to crossing the street and no one there to make sure you didn't get hit by a car. Back to walking down the street and people avoiding you rather than thanking you. Back to the healthy life that I am so thankful that I have.
Chris was there! He came down and escorted me to pick up my bag and then off to the car. Since it was our 1 year anniversary (!!) we went home and shared the bottle of Leonetti we'd been saving since our wine wedding shower the July before. Chris had also made my favorite - crock pot sloppy joes! He is the best, but don't tell him it will go to his head.
This will probably not be my last post about my 3 Day experience. There is so much I want to share. Small stories that made a huge impact on me........