Shaving several minutes off a half marathon PR (personal record) is no easy feat. Paige had put in some rigorous training and had a crew of just one for cheering duties at the event. Basically Paige's race support along the course was Korey Nelson and he deserves a shout out since he singlehandedly maneuvered around the OC with signs for both Andie and Paige.
Just like the racers, spectating full and half marathons is not for the faint of heart either. I know this from experience since watching Brent run marathons thirty years ago is what converted me to running them too. As an observer I could see I was missing out on something cool and mostly, I noticed that watching the race could be so stressful I might as well be running it!
Yes, I remember well the experience of being on the sidelines. First, I had to arise incredibly early and drop off an anxious runner near the start line. Then the logistics come in; navigating the course to maximize places to cheer. And, locating runners can be tricky. Even if I have a general idea of their anticipated minute per mile time, I’m never sure if they are running ahead or behind schedule. If I miss them, at say, mile 5, I could play catch up the entire race.
So, for the Orange County race, Korey was the man! He made signs, chauffeured, cheered and motivated both Andie and Paige. And, it does appear that he had the magic touch or good karma since Paige had such an amazing time. Kudos to Korey! And look, in the post race photo Korey still has a smile on his face!
Finally, Korey’s quarter-century birthday happens to be this very day. It’s a good thing his race support duties happened before he got so old! Happy 25th Birthday to Korey!