Twin Cities Marathon

I got up this morning, brewed a cup of coffee, and walked down the block to watch the Twin Cities Marathon.  It is an annual ritual that really doesn’t change much year to year.

So here’s my report:

I picked up the Marathon about 20 minutes after the leaders — the “elites” — passed through the neighborhood.  I think I am at mile five or six here at Lake Harriet.  The runners looked pretty much the same this year as last year and I snapped some rather poor photos to prove it.  (It is impossible to discern one year from another.)  I am not sure what to look for in a marathon, so I look for attractive tights on runners.  I have never been a fan of running shorts.

The tights left a lot to be desired, alas.  Perhaps the better legs had already passed by the time I got to the course, but I don’t think so.

Twin Cities Marathon taking the turn near Lake Harriet Band Shell.

I’m blaming it on the economy.  People are toning it down a bit.  I haven’t anything against black tights — in fact those, truth be told, are my favorites — but I like to see a bit of variety if I am going to make attractive tights-watching my sport.

One young woman charged by in a bright pair of some sort of blue floral print.  I liked those.  Another runner came by in something pink with curlicues all over them.  I think she was one of my bartenders.  I’ll have to go to The Urban Eatery and ask.  And that was about it.  Really disappointing.

So I started watching the crowd.  Runners and wannabe runners not bold enough to run the race like to get dressed up in running gear anyway.  (To avoid being mistaken for a wannabe, I wear heavy pants, boots, a jacket, and broad brimmed hat…which probably isn’t the best outfit to wear for discreet tights watching,  but no one will mistaken me for a runner.)

Twin Cities Marathon Spectators. Lake Harriet.

There were some nice tights on the sidelines.  In fact, I would guess there were more there than on the course.  And a note about the crowd…I believe this year was much better attended than previous years.  Usually the crowd stretches thin down Lake Harriet Parkway, but not so much this year.

Marathons might be more fun to watch without the crowds, however; the loud cheering and screeching, the cowbells and banging balloon things…it all makes quite a noise.   I’ll admit it is fun to see people get excited about something like running a race, but I do think a marathon might be a much more enjoyable sport — even a relaxing sport — without all the racket.  Just the sound of sneakers and pavement, kind of like a soft rain shower.  But you don’t get that.  You hear loud fans instead.

I lingered for maybe half an hour then decided it was time to do something else.  It certainly was a beautiful morning.  Perhaps too nice.  All that blue sky and sunshine gets a little dull after a while.  There’s nothing quite like cozying up to a big mug of hot coffee on a cold windswept day…especially with some sleet in the air!  But here we are, living in a dry Mediterranean climate now.  It is what it is.  I made the best of it on the way home, walking a little more slowly so to let the vividness of the morning really make an impression on me.  Nature is all about color, even if the runners are not, which just tells you that being glum isn’t really a big part of the order of things.

Lake Harriet Band Shell.

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