Once I got to the top, right before the first mile marker, I got out my cow bells and waited. I also took some pictures while I was up there. I did get a little sad a few times when I wasn't running and others were, but at the end of the day I knew it was the right decision...
And soon the runners started coming!
The half marathon started at 7:00 am and the 5k started at 7:30. I stayed on that bridge all morning cheering my heart out for everyone that I could running by. I cheered for every half marathoner on their way out and almost all of the 5kers before turning around to cheer on the 5kers making their way back.
Spectating definitely doesn't show how hard runners are working and how tired they are. If I hadn't known better, I'd say they hadn't even broken a sweat on the hills. Since I'd run those hills a few times I knew that wasn't true at all. I was so cold from the wind and had to throw on a jacket, and to see them sweating and talking of heat later was so confusing.
The half marathoners came back after a while. Their whole route had been on the barrier islands, so I caught the last half a mile or so when they got back to me. It was fun to cheer for friends and capture pictures. Everyone did so well on such a murky and humid day with 4 big bridges to cross.
I loved taking pictures of my friends (though I missed pictures or ended up with blurry ones of so many!), and I had fun ringing my cowbells and cheering everyone along. I still got to experience the race, albeit without running it.