Operation Go Bananas

What did you do this weekend?  Oh... that's interesting.  Want to hear what I did?  OF COURSE YOU DO!  In summary - I road tripped to Eugene with long time friend Steffanie to partake in the greatest marathon spectating EVAH!  ... and then I drove home exhausted.

Let me give you a bit of background into how this blessed event came about (in bullet form because I'm still really tired and want to get this out before I take my nap - aka go to bed).

  • Originally Steffanie was going to run the full marathon in Eugene.  We schemed that I would pace her to the finish for a glorious PR.  And then... we both got injured.  But, the hotel was already booked so maybe we'd both run the half.
  • My injury lingered but Steffanie was making a come back.  I decided I could still pull off the road trip and watch her race the half and also watch Kyle gun for a BQ in the full.  
  • Then... Twitter informed me that there would be a huge blogger presence in Eugene - everyone gunning for PRs.  Cheering status solidified.
  • Now here is where it gets weird so bear with me... Sally posts that her bib will read 'Bananas'... which leads me to joke that it would be fun to cheer in a banana costume... which leads to serious talk of procuring said banana costume... which leads to Nuun coming through in the final weeks and providing said banana costume!
  • Yes, not all of that is as cool as it sounds in my head but I'm pretty convinced that to the people involved... it was pretty awesome!

So here's how it went down.  Friday after work I drove down to Seattle, picked up the Banana costume along with a gorilla suit and other accouterments (thanks to Arielle and the folks at Nuun) and then headed further south to stay with Steffanie.  Saturday morning was an early rise to hit the road for Eugene.  We made it in one piece - sufficiently fueled with Steffanie's fantastic snack basket and my dense Twix cupcakes.  

Despite the snacking, lunch most definitely came first - hop across the street from the hotel to Cafe Yumm... mmm Yumm bowl, I must have you again sometime soon.  Then it was a short walk to the expo to pick up Steff's race bib and to fully stalk bloggers and Tweeps meet new friends.  I introduced myself to the Oiselle gals - Sally and Sarah - and got to meet Lauren Fleshman of Picky Bars and hear Meb speak.  All in all a great expo for me.  Then it was back to the hotel for a bit of R&R for Steff before dinner, a few test runs of the costumes on hand, and then a run for me.

The run was excellent.  It was sunny, warm (actually a bit hot for sporting my compression socks - the only socks I brought on the trip... FAIL) and slightly windy, but gorgeous nonetheless as I ran along the river (part of the marathon course).  I felt strong, there was no pain, and I was pushing the pace a bit.  Longest run since the marathon.  Woot!  5 miles in 41 minutes with 1 minute walk breaks interspersed throughout - have to do what the doctor ordered (sort of).

The rest of the evening was spent eating with friends and relaxing.  It really was a pretty perfect day.

Sunday - Up early with a jog (in costume) to the start for Steffanie's warm up and then it was 'go time'.  

Corinne and I were in full cheer mode.  We saw folks off at the start and then made our way (with a pit stop for breakfast at the hotel) to mile 9.  Everyone I knew was looking strong and I 'think' many runners appreciated the Chicken/'Naner distraction.  I got a lot of sweaty high fives and 'Go Bananas' cheers from the runners.

Once I saw everyone I knew, it was off to the next stop - mile 12 of the half and mile 16 of the full.  As we made our way to the right spot I saw Sarah running strong for her third place finish in the half (way to go Sarah!!).  Darting between runners and jogging over the footbridge Corinne and I were able to cheer for other half marathoners that were powering to the finish line.  Once at the 12/16 mile post spot we weren't standing around long before I spotted Steffanie making her way down the path and turning towards the last mile of her run.  Unfortunately there were a lot of spectators blocking our way so I'm not sure if the Chicken/'Naner cheering got it's full appreciation, but such is life.  And... since we knew Kyle wouldn't be long after we couldn't make it to watch Steff finish in her new PR - WOOT #2 for the day.

The rest of our time at mile 16 was spent cheering, dancing in a 'Naner suit to 'Thriller' (I think Corinne might have gotten this on tape... that will need to be destroyed), and plotting the potential 'Naner skit which had me lying on the side of the bike path in the banana suit and Corinne yelling 'Don't slip on the banana!'.  Obviously we didn't actually carry this one out as we decided it might piss runners off rather than entertain.  Again, we really weren't waiting long before the whole string of 'people I know online and not really in real life' started coming through.  First there was Kyle - still glued to the 3:05 pace bunny and looking completely comfortable.  Then Emily - you rocked the sh** out of this race!  Followed by Sally - thank you for cheering back at me.  Shortly thereafter I spotted Sarah pacing Margot and then Sarah.  Yeah... there are way too many Sarah's.

Mid-race cheering complete it was now time to meander to the finish.  And oh what a finish it was!!  Kyle PR'd by 12 minutes, Emily PR'd by 19.5 minutes (read her race recap), Sally finished with a strong 3:24, Sarah paced Margot in for a PR of 3:32, and Sarah killed it for a 20 minute PR (I think that's right... her race report isn't up yet).  You all are amazing!!






Sarah and Margot


So, from the 'naner (and the chicken too) to you all - Congrats on a great race!!!

Oh, and in case you were interested and have actually made it this far in my post - the drive home was LONG!  Thank you Steff for driving part of the way.  I'm sure I would have killed us both if you hadn't saved the day and got us through the Portland traffic.

My feet were tired from standing for 4 hours.  Cheering is hard work!

Second costume of the day - 'golfer'.  I'm not sure where this outfit was spawned from but I have no one else to blame but me.

Yes, that's ZERO miles.  Yay for a dead stop on the freeway on a 7+ hour road trip home.


  1. OH my gosh! That looked like the best weekend ever! Jealous of both racing and spectating.

  2. thats some serious costume cheering, im impressed.

  3. Eugene Roadtrip 2012 = SUCCESS! Thank you for such a fun weekend!!!

  4. I definitely remember seeing you guys! I was on the elliptigo cheering along the course (I ran the 5K the day before) -- too cool! That is some fantastic costume cheering. Mac (Oiselle) loves herself someone dressed as a banana so I'm sure that made her day.

    1. Oh my gosh! I totally remember the elliptigo passing us as we walked to Hayward Field. I wish I had one of those things - it looked awesome!

  5. Everytime I saw you I was so happy! Go bananas!!! (not evidenced by my serious race face captured here- but but very true) best cheer support evah!!

  6. This is awesome!! And a great recap! Love it!

  7. Looks like so much fun - the banana costume is awesome!

  8. What a great idea! I've been telling my parents to bring a balloon when they spectate my husband's & my first marathon (in October, yes, I'm already planning this out), but perhaps costumes would be a better idea ...

  9. I wish I would have known you were in Eugene- we could have met up. Eugene was a lot of fun, slightly disappointing, but fun. Loved all of the pictures you took. You are right, cheering is hard work!