Saturday, October 18, 2014

Kansas City Half Marathon & Finger Knitting

David Babcock with the scarf he finger-knit while setting a new Personal Record time of 1:44:19 during the 2014 Kansas City Half Marathon on October 18th, 2014.
Today was the Kansas City Marathon. It was great.
I was up at 4:30am and out at 5:15 with my brother-in-law Stephen. We got to the Crown Center around 6:20 and I made my way quickly to meet with Carey Wickersham of Fox 4 KC news. We did a quick interview and they took some video of me finger knitting. The clip as I saw it online later was great. It was dark and I didn't remember that I had switched out the gold yarn for "Citron" but I did use a Royal looking blue. Also I am not selling the scarves, currently just trading for stories through the Lion Brand blog.

I found the 1:45 pace group and met a few people quickly before the start. I crossed the start line fairly close to the clock start around 7:05. It was still dark and I had my sunglasses on. Pretty quickly my sunglasses started fogging up. I fell behind the pace group but was still keeping up. I shed my extra hoodie by mile 1 and my knit hat a mile later. I was heating up pretty quickly. I was wearing tights and a long sleeve shirt the whole race. I had taken them off before this photo because they were wet and cold at the end. My glasses stayed foggy and I finally took them off just before the Plaza.

A lot of people that I was running with recognized me from the past news or commented on my knitting. Everyone was very supportive and generally amazed. I came up behind one runner that had the word "BLIND" on his back. I ran with him a ways to talk and confirmed that it was Jeff Benelli, whom I had read about before the race. He said he had heard of me too which was nice.

The finger knitting was keeping me very busy and the miles just flew by. It also helped that I couldn't see very far to be distracted by the crowds and spectators. I was able to yell back to a few groups of spectators that noticed me. Hopefully some looked me up and donated. At one point a ball of yarn popped out of my bag and I had to quickly retrieve it.

It was a nice relief to separate from the Full Marathoners and be closer to the finish without feeling quite as tired. This was my first half here where I had only run two fulls before. I thought that I was running ahead of the 1:45 pace group, but it ends up that I was between the pacers. I finally passed the front pacer with just 1.5 miles to go. On the last stretch I wasn't sure how I wanted to look crossing the line. I tried to put the knitting over my shoulder to make my bib number more visible but it didn't work very well. My bib was covered by my hands and scarf most of the race. Hopefully they will post pictures of me anyway. If anyone spectating has pictures please send them my way.

I was super excited to finish with a new personal record time of 1:44:19. I had my watch to confirm. My previous record for the half was 1:47 and that was without knitting. I had done a 1:44 in training on the road and a 1:36 on a treadmill, but a timed race with lots of people and variables is what really counts.

My family wasn't there to greet me. They were stuck in traffic somewhere. I went back up to the finish line to watch people coming in through about 2:15. It took only a short time to get really cold from being wet. Fortunately I had gear-checked some warm clothes and was able to change while I waited for family to show up.

I was able to see my brother-in-law cross at 3 hours and some change. I am proud of him for sticking with it, even though he didn't train this year. For the pictures I changed back into my shirt and shorts while we were still at the park.

Great race. Thank you Kansas City. Thank you pace runners. Thank you family. Thank you donors.

No comments:

Post a Comment