Other than participating in the Old Glory Relay the past two years, this has to have been the most patriotic race/run I have done.
We started the weekend off with a run and breakfast (posted here) on Saturday before heading to Spanish Fort, AL to pick up our race packets for the Battleship 12k. We usually take a picture with our bibs and today would be no different, other than I wouldn’t behave and the Hubs had to take like 20 pictures to get one that was ‘postable’!!
As we were heading out the RD asked if we had found our names on the back of the shirt?? What?? You know us?? You put OUR names on the back of the race shirt?? So of course we stopped in the lobby to see what he was talking about. Each runners name was listed on the back of the shirt in a flag formation…AND we found our names!!
It was early to bed and early to rise, we had a 45 minute drive to the start line.
We arrived in our (mine, really) hour before start time manner, parked, stayed in the car with the heater on for a few minutes before heading up the hill for a Team RWB photo (which I cannot find!). Once we were near the start we were approached by Wear Blue to Remember asking if we would participate in the Circle of Remembrance…ummmm, we’re not going to say no!!
She handed us each a strip of paper with a name on it. As she handed me my strip of paper, she said ‘this is a very dear friend of mine.’ As everyone drew into a circle, she stated that we were reading the names of the 67 men that were KIA during the second battle of Fallujah. Each name was read aloud, it was soon my turn and I could not read the name with out crying… 2nd Lieutenant James P. “JP” Blecksmith ❤️🇺🇸💙 and the Hubs read…Sergeant Adrian E. Hike ❤️🇺🇸💙. The lady in charge made her way to me, gave me a hug and told me thank you. I tucked the names in my belt to carry with me to the finish.
With a few minutes before the start we found our friends, selfie’d, hugged and headed to line up with plans to see each other at the finish.
The race was a point to point run with shuttles that would bring us back to the parking area at the start. the weather was a little on the chilly side with a slight drizzle and some FAWG (I’m typing this with Katie’s southern accent!). My plan was to run my 4:1 run/walk intervals. The Hubs was going to do his thing while carrying the flag.
We were off and I stuck to my intervals. I stopped at miles 4 and 6 for photos and sent them to the Hubs so he would know that I was on my way, hopefully just not too far behind him…RIGHT!!! I need work on the selfie game at mile 4, what happened to the 4?? I used to be good at this??!! And can you see the Battleship in the background at mile 6?? It looks soooo far away!!
The last 1.5 miles made this run worth it!! At mile 6 you can see the USS Alabama across the bay as you approach the bridge, as you make your way to the top of the bridge you can see the flag lined entrance to the Battleship Memorial Park, you make your way around the park you find yourself alongside the battleship for a picturesque finish!! The Hubs was there to greet me and handed me the flag to carry across the finish line.
We got to visit with Jenny and Eric, Katie, Heather, Kari, Dan-el and Holly!! Everyone got their medal shot with the battleship in the background and we headed for the shuttle line…can you say LAST bus, but the fun bus!!!
I stuck to my planned interval and managed what I thought was a decent time 5 weeks post op.
And the boys deserved a finisher’s photo…
2017 was the third running of the Battleship 12k and the medal represented the Navy. They plan to recognize the rest of the services and first responders in the next few years, with the Air Force being the medal in 2018.
**Race Date: 12 November 2017**