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And what a 4th of July it was!!! This was probably the most nervous I have ever been for a race, I wasn’t sure about the accommodations, I wasn’t sure about this teeny tiny little town race…I just was worried. Brian and I jumped in the truck and left the house on Thursday 07/03/2014 at about 7:15 and stopped in Harvard for breakfast. I have learned to pack a lot of food in the coolers so that we don’t have to stop and other than for fuel and potty, we didn’t stop for food. We arrived in Brownville, Nebraska at about 4:30pm and took a quick, and I do mean quick, tour of downtown that took 3 minutes and that is stopping, looking and doing the tour 3 times. This is a small town!!! We found our “hotel” which is a riverboat that someone bought and renovated to be a hotel that is permanently at a pier 3 blocks south of the route 136 bridge across the Missouri River, barely in Nebraska. It’s right there, we can see it, but we can’t figure out how to get there. There river looked like it had been high and the south gate was closed so we backtracked to the north gate and found our way on the boat and checked in and went to our room, which was really beautiful!!! We dumped our stuff and drove up town to see about getting some dinner and found that there is nowhere to eat in Brownville. We did find the only bar and had a couple of beers and got some good information on a place to eat in Rockport, Mo, 5 miles away. We had a nice prerace meal and headed back to Brownville, back to the bar for a drink and then back to the room for rest. I got up at 5 and we were walking up to the race start/finish line by 5:45. It was a short 10 minute walk and I picked up my race packet and stretched and warmed up. They started promptly at 7am, following the National Anthem. The race was largely flat with four water stops evenly place throughout. Being an out and back, I had 8 water stations to go through. I felt good and then at about 4 miles my vision started to get a little blurry so I took a gel. I don’t remember seeing the 5 and 6 mile markers and was aware of the turn at just under 7 miles. They gave out small bottles of water, which was great, because I could actually get some of that water in my mouth, though I poured the lion’s share over my head, down my neck and down my chest. It was in the high 70’s at start and likely in the 80’s by the finish. For the most part I had no trouble, I felt a little puny at about 9 miles and opted to take another gel, the gummies are hard to chew and slurping down a gel is easier. The last 2 miles were hot and I didn’t have much left by the finish, I finished 01:54:57, a pace of 8:46, 39th of 122, 18 of 62 women, 1st in my AG of 11!!! The next nearest runner was 7-8 minutes behind me!!! And I was on SuperMan’s heels the whole way! Some kid was dressed as superman and I was just behind him, hahahaha!!! We went back to the riverboat and ate the breakfast that they had boxed and put in our room for us and got cleaned up and went back into town on foot. They were having a 4th of July celebration and though we missed the parade because I was in the shower we saw “small town Americana” with the pledge, 21 gun salute, the reading of the Gettysburg Address, the singing of The National Anthem and America the Beautiful. We walked around and just looked about and went to the end of the Main Street to the winery that we had discovered yesterday, it was open and I tasted a few and bought two bottles applying my $10.00 GC for getting first in my AG. We met up with the owners of the boat again (Randal and Jane Smith), they had two Percherons, Pete and Prince that were pulling a trolley through town and chatted with Randal Smith and petted the boys and headed back to the Riverboat where we dropped off our wine and rested for a few minutes and headed back up town to see about food. There, again, was nothing to eat in town other than “fair food” so we headed back to the boat to book a dinner cruise on their dinner boat, The Spirit of Brownville. That went out at 5:30, so we had some time to kill, it was 4, so we had a room picnic from what I had packed and that worked nicely. We got on the boat a little after 5 and had a couple of beers and relaxed. They served a very nice meal that was laid back and easy going and I had the opportunity to talk with the Jane Smith, Randal’s wife, about their life for the past 54 years. She and Randal are such lovely people, and their story is so interesting. I encouraged Jane to write a book and got the feeling that I was not the first who had made that suggestion. We got back to the Inn and went up top to listen to the band and had a couple of drinks. The wine that I was so fond of at the winery was being served and I had 2 glasses of that and we talked to a couple of people from nearby Auburn, Nebraska. Fireworks were a short distance away on the Nebraska side of the river just this side of the 136 bridge, so we saw them and they were short and sweet and fun. We were both getting pretty tired, so we went to bed and got up the next day and had breakfast on the boat and I went to pay the bill and Brian went to the room, I didn’t know I was supposed to follow, but he came out and asked me to be his forever and gave me a beautiful engagement ring. So…we are engaged!!! I have 7 weeks off from racing and I am actually relieved, I could use the rest! And now, I have to think about a wedding!!! MINE!!! North Dakota in 7 weeks!

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