“To Infinity and Beyond” describes the fun and friendliness of the Huntsville, Alabama Rocket City Marathon!
Huntsville is considered the Rocket Capital of the entire World! Tattoo and I made our way to Alabama by car with expectations of having a BLAST…which we did! Now that we’ve done a few of these races together, Tattoo and I have decided that I’m okay in the car until about 5 or 6 hours…then I get a bit stir-crazy. I have never liked long car trips, in fact, travelling with me as a child was pretty close to a nightmare. I always feel trapped in the car and I get really antsy and anxious, but travelling with Tattoo is both easy and fun! She doesn’t even mind when I take a bike ride in the store at the gas station. We stopped for gas in Tennessee, and the first thing I saw when the automatic glass doors swooshed open was a promotional display involving a child’s bike. The seat had a picture of a cute, purple cartoon fruit bat on it. I was instantly overcome with the need to take that bike for a spin…..so I did, as Tattoo and the cashier laughed their asses off and snapped pictures of me doing laps around the store. At first I was worried that the cashier (a heavy-set woman in her forties) might yell at me, but I took the chance anyway, and the opposite happened! She was laughing so hard I thought she might choke on the chips and salsa she was munching on behind the counter, and she kept repeating “That’s AWESOME!” over and over again while taking photos of me with her phone. It was great, and made getting back in the car again a little easier. We continued on until we reached the Embassy Suites on Monroe Street. The hotel was really nice and located perfectly, since it was a stone throw away from the start and the finish of the race. The day before the race we picked up our race packets, saw some rockets, did some carbo-loading, and spread the word about 50 States for Sole and Girls With Sole. I wonder if it’s a coincidence that the Mascot’s name is Chaos!? I told him that Chaos was my name too…it’s my middle name. Tattoo and I decided that Huntsville might be known for Rockets…but it should be known for the largest number of redheads than any state in the union! You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a person with red hair in Huntsville. That’s probably a very little known fact that I have just provided for you – you can thank me later. Race morning was about 45 degrees and raining. We weren’t thrilled with that, but tried to take comfort in two things: (No matter what kind of weather was going on outside) 1. It was better than the weather at home. 2. We were going to get it done no matter what. The rain turned to misty rain, and then it ended up stopping altogether. There were no rockets to be seen on the race course other than the usual snot rockets one would encounter while running a marathon. We were told that the course is going to change next year and will include running past actual rockets and through the Botanical Gardens. I think a few course changes that include the city’s sites would enhance it a bit, but Tattoo and I had no problems enjoying it exactly the way it was. One thing that I hope they never change is the fact that the Rocket City Marathon had some of the nicest volunteers, course marshalls and fellow runners that I have come across in a long time! They were absolutely fantastic, friendly and fabulous! We met many people on the course – a few of them sharing the 50 states goal. Judy from Kent, Ohio; Brittany the 25 year old ER Nurse running her first marathon, Bill (AKA Green Shirt Guy); “Fargo”; and Eric – the Community College History Teacher who was missing his sister’s graduation to run the race were among the many fun runners who became friends on the course. We were all united for the moment by running and were bound by the same goal. This race had great Finisher hats and medals, and I loved the Nike Dri Fit race shirts too!
The Rocket City Marathon launched me toward my 50 States goal for Girls With Sole! Although it isn’t Rocket Science – running for our girls does so much for so many!