Many, many thanks to the fabulous Christine for inspiring, encouraging, mentoring and shepherding me through my first half. It was a wonderful experience for me, but C was hobbled by plantar fasciitis flare up. I don't know that if I were in her shoes that I would have been able to finish, but she soldiered on.
I'd participated in 5ks before, but nothing compared to the sheer magnitude of 16 or 17 thousand people. It's an amazing mass of humanity. As Christine pointed out, it was some amazing humanity as well. Just about every person there has a story and watching them cross the finish line was an emotional experience. These people ran/participated in this race as some sort of personal endeavor - a race for themselves, a race to honor someone, a race to raise funds for a cause bigger than themselves. To see the joy, tears, relief, sense of accomplishment that crossed the faces at the finish line was almost worth the price of admission.
Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Accept a challenge.