This past weekend Ryan and I headed back out to Santa Cruz for the second time this summer. This trip was a short one, but was for a very exciting event. On Sunday morning Ryan ran the Wharf to Wharf race from Santa Cruz to Capitola (about 10K).

I was a little bit worried since Ryan hasn’t really been training hard enough (his words, not mine)… but excited because I know what Ryan is capable of when he sets his mind to something. He is very determined and in much better shape than he gives himself credit for.

The morning started off cold and foggy, but it felt really good to both of us since the summer heat wave has hit and we’ve been enduring triple digit temperatures in the valley for a couple of weeks.

The traffic was crazy all over the coast this weekend. I did not realize it until Ryan told me, but the race has 15,000 runners! Add in spectators and you’ve got some crazy traffic and crowded roads. It led to a frustrating and long drive out, and led to me having to drop Ryan a couple of blocks from the starting line and drive away immediately to meet him at the finish line.

After driving for nearly 40 minutes and encountering several closed roads and detours, I finally found a parking spot at a local park. I walked a few blocks and found a great spot on the side of the course just a few feet from the finish line. I was determined to get a picture of Ryan finishing.

I met some great people while waiting for the runners to come in. There is something so exhilarating about a race and about knowing someone in it. The nerves are incredible. I can only imagine what Ryan was feeling, though he seemed very calm to me. The clock started and we all stood in anticipation with our eyes fixed towards the top of the hill.

I could hardly believe that just 20 minutes into the race, they started announcing the coming of the motorcade and the first runner!

Before I knew it, there he was!!! Simon Chiprot, from Kenya, Africa, crossed the finish line at 27.06 minutes. It was phenomenal. He raised his arms in victory and hardly looked winded. We all cheered as loud as we could.

About a minute after Simon’s arrival, the rest of the runners started coming in. The crowd got really “into it” with cheering, clapping and even throwing up hands for high fives. I met these cute kids cheering for their dad before the race started. The little girl was decked out in shiny rhinestones, a feather boa and an adorable purple sweatsuit. She was so cute and so proud of her Dad.

I watched the clock like an eagle and knowing that Ryan wanted to finish in under 1 hour, I started sweating around 50 minutes. I scanned the crowd of runners nervously, keeping my eyes fixed at the top of the hill, and my finger on the shutter button on my camera.

Then I saw him! And my heart skipped beats. I grabbed my camera and fixed it on him. And… started screaming his name.

The most adorable moment followed when he saw me.

It took him a second to recognize me. Then he smiled, threw out his hand and gave me his “sign”. All while I’m screaming, “RYAN!!! GO BABY GO!!! YEAH!!!! WOOOO! RYAN!!!”

It was pretty adorable. A bystander watching it go down said the same thing. I just said proudly, “he’s my husband”.

He crossed the finish line at 54 minutes. I was beaming with joy and pride. I could hardly wait to grab and hug that sweaty mess of a man. And, he was!

I am so proud of him. For sticking with it, despite his own doubts and limitations. He told me he hit a wall at mile 3, but had promised himself that he would never stop running, and he didn’t. Ryan is my hero, because he did something that I don’t think I could ever do, and even when it got impossibly difficult, he never quit, AND he succeeded in meeting his own personal goal.

Plus, isn’t he so super handsome?!

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