We woke up to birds singing and the suns shining on Friday. After enjoying a traditional English breakfast served on the patio outside of our room at the Rosedon Hotel, we dressed for our shake out run from the hotel to past the finish line on Front Street. T shirt and capris were the order of the day. It was an emotional run realizing that I was now just two days away from fulfilling a dream that I had for 3 years in my heart and soul. Realizing that the last time I was in Bermuda I could barely walk down Front Street and was using a cane wearing a toe up leg brace fueled the emotion and a wave of gratitude and joy washed over me.
After every training run, Tom and I took runfies of ourselves and this last training run before the starting gun went off was no exception:
We did souvenir shopping and walked at an easy pace back to the Rosedon. Along the way we bumped into Shawn and Mona who were off to Dockyard for the afternoon and our plane mates. The energy of race weekend was building. We met Chris from Germany, the sisters from London (who were staying at the Rosedon) and Barbara from Minneapolis who was an older runner and a phys ed teacher whose students were eager to hear the lessons she would bring with her from running the Bermuda Triangle Challenge.
We went for a swim and I stretched in the pool. We put our feet up and soaked in the Bermudaful sunshine. I reflected on the miracle of the moment.
After a shower and change of clothes, it was time for bib pick up.
Tom snapped this action shot of me getting my bib:
The last time I was at the Hamilton Princess was on New Year's Eve shortly after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. Everyone was dressed to the nines wearing high heels. I tried to muster as much dignity as I could wearing a leg brace and tie shoes facing an uncertain and what some would say was a rather grim future.
What a triumphant return to attend the Bermuda Marathon Expo and to pick up our bib numbers.
We had photos taken by the official race photographer in front of a course map and saw many familiar faces. Clarence was at the Expo and we had the wonderful opportunity of meeting his daughter Pam and her grandson. Bermudians have a strong sense of kinship and it is always heart warming to experience their sense of kinship.
We would have the opportunity to see Pam out on the Bermuda Half Marathon course. She videotaped us running just as we crested one of the hills out on the course. The smiles that seemed to be ever present on our faces throughout the race got even wider.
The t shirt was the best.swag.ever:
People were eager and delighted to capture Team McManus with their bibs:
We sat outside in the courtyard of the Princess where runners regaled stories of races past and hopes for what the weekend would bring.
You could feel the anticipation of those running the Bermuda Triangle Challenge and Half Challenge: The Front Street Mile on Friday, the 10K on Saturday and either a half or a full marathon on Sunday.
I was delighted, thrilled and over the moon excited to be among the international running community.
We had a cup of tea back at the Rosedon before heading in town for our second night at the Pickled Onion. The manager Stephanie warmly welcomed us back and said we were now officially regulars!
We asked about Sunday brunch after the race and inquired if we should make reservations.
"Don't worry - I'll take care of you," which is the Bermudian way of saying, "Not a problem."
After dining once again on Salmon, Brown Rice and String beans we leisurely strolled back to our hotel where we meditated and fell asleep to the sound of tree frogs.