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Marathon Weekend: Mission Inn Run

November 15, 2010

Here they come!

I’ve labeled this, and the last post, Marathon Weekend, because this weekend seemed like a real slog: having a sale really wore me out … but, also because this was the weekend of the 33rd annual Mission Inn Run. At least part of which passed right by the Rancho on Redwood Drive. The Mission Inn Run isn’t a true marathon, it’s actually a half marathon, with 5- and 10-K runs included. There are various courses, and my early-morning walk included witnessing part of it being set up in Fairmount Park before 6am … then, I caught the crowds registering and beginning their courses downtown. I was amazed at the number of participants — and their diversity. Aside from the expected focused, youthful and svelte striders, there were also middle-aged, and much-older runners (and walkers), moms and dads with babies in strollers, the very height-weight disproportionate, and those willing-to-show-off-much-sweaty flesh. Thankfully, most of the Run action was happening away from the Coffee Bean, and I was able to snag my post-walk red eye without too much bother, before heading home for back-property watering. I could hear the cheers from Redwood as I had my cereal and the first runners sprinted past the Rancho. By the time I made it outside and unraveled the hose, this is the scene: runners coming down Redwood, between the rear of the Rancho and the Evergreen Cemetery … I’m not a whooo!-er, but I could understand why someone who was, would let out a yell: it was exciting seeing so many people running in the street! …

Perfect day for a run

The morning’s chill had departed, leaving a breeze and clear, blue skies … I can’t imagine a more perfect day for running or walking. Also perfect: some runners actually gave me a thumbs-up or called out their admiration for the Rancho’s landscaping as they passed! One man shouted out that he passes by our house every day and loves the garden … how cool is that?

Stacking up

I was so into watering, watching the runners, and taking compliments, that I was not aware of the cars stacking up on both sides of 14th Street. 14th Street truly became a cross street when those drivers were forced to wait as the runners passed. The night before, traffic cones and barriers were dropped off for blocking off the streets that were part of the run’s courses, and a monitor was in place to ensure the runner’s safety. And, he wasn’t very popular as he informed drivers that he couldn’t let them through …

Street advisor

In fact, some drivers began honking, and shouting out of their windows, expressing their displeasure at having to wait! That they were trapped, and how unfair and wrong it was, etc., that they couldn’t just tiptoe through between the runners in their vans and SUVs … Unexpectedly, the most strident of these disgruntled drivers were two senior ladies, both of whom got out of their cars to badger the poor monitor! One of them completely dismantled her grandmotherly image when she got out of her car and became a fleece-clad grizzly, proclaiming angrily that she was already an hour late to open her shop … Until her outburst, and knowing she had a shop, I would’ve thought she sold, maybe, doilies and teacups. But seeing her come unglued made me think maybe she sold something less frilly, like maybe brass knuckles … I mean, this was the 33rd ANNUAL run, after all, and it’s not like it wasn’t publicized … some people!

Patriotic soloist

Finally the runner’s numbers thinned to a trickle … The monitor removed the cones and barriers and and everyone got to go where they needed to without a wait. One of the last runners was this patriotic fellow … the picture of athletic concentration and determination, he was a vision at the end of the race. As he moved down Redwood and toward Tequesquite, I followed behind and captured his solitary, measured stride, finding it a fitting finale. Living at the Rancho almost 4 years now, we’ve gotten (almost) used to being inadvertent participants in everything from cemetery-based car shows, holiday fireworks and religious processions up (and, down again) Mt. Rubidoux. For myself, this Mission Inn Run was my favorite of these events: It moves!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2010 10:39 pm

    When I saw the headline for this post, I leapt to the conclusion that you ran the 5K. Guess not. … but I would love to see some pictures of THAT … if you ever get inspired!

    Sounds like you had an eventful weekend without actually running the race, though.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      November 16, 2010 10:42 pm

      Me, run? Never… Walk super-fast somewhere, is more likely… but then I do that every day, right?!

  2. Elizabeth Han permalink
    November 20, 2010 4:41 am

    Cool post, Reuben. Funny, too.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      November 20, 2010 6:36 am

      Thanks, Elizabeth, when will you be in town next?

      • Elizabeth Han permalink
        November 21, 2010 12:35 am

        Hey, I’ll have lunch with Laurie Lucas on Nov. 26 in Riverside, the Friday after Thanksgiving.

      • reubix1 permalink*
        November 21, 2010 12:42 am

        Cool … I’ll be in touch!

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