This happened on Saturday.
Yep. I won a truck. A Dodge Ram. And the above is my photo from the newspaper where I was heading up to the stage after they called my name (and my handsome and excited hubby following behind me.)
All for running a half marathon. You see kids? It pays to run races.
Background: Adam works for Cummins (that's why we moved to the middle of the cornfields of Indiana). Cummins was the main sponsor of the Inaugural Mill Race Marathon event this weekend, including a 5K, half and full. A few months back, they announced that someone who finished the half or the full would win this truck. Adam was like, "there's only supposed to be 3,000-4,000 runners. That's better odds than the lottery." Having never run more than a 5K race, he suggested this as his first half solely because of those odds at winning something.
We knew even then that we'd likely walk a lot. Running his first half so soon after the wedding and honeymoon? There wasn't going to be time for us to train properly. Honestly, neither of us have run more than 2 miles or so at once in MONTHS.
We showed up Saturday morning, and conditions were perfect. We started off easy from the beginning, clocking 11:30 or so miles. We pretty much ran most of the first 7 miles. We then started incorporating more walk breaks. We enjoyed the sunny, cool day. It felt like fall! I was excited to be running a race again (my last race was in early December of last year).
We had our bibs customized to say "Husband" and "Wife." Someone even noticed and cheered us on saying, "there go the honeymooners!"
We finished in 2:39:58, which I thought was pretty darn good considering our lack of training. Adam did so great for his first half, and I was so proud of him!
We changed clothes and freshened up. We went and had some pizza and beer. We wandered around the after party. We knew you had to be present to win the truck at the big drawing at 3pm, and while we never dreamed we'd win, we knew we might as well hang out to be sure.
When it was time, there was a huge crowd. We weren't too close to the stage, but we could hear ok. They finally got to the part where they drew a number... and announced, "1864." And it hit me that it was one of us! And then they said, "Melanie Riddick" and it took a second (I've only been that name for less than 2 months now) and Adam going, "that's you!" before it sunk in.
And then it was just a rush of adrenaline. I was shaking, and I couldn't believe it. It was so surreal. I jumped up because I wanted them to know I was there (I'm short, and I knew they wouldn't see me if I didn't cause a commotion... plus, I was excited!)
I started making my way up to the stage, Adam behind me. As the crowd parted, everyone was cheering and giving me high fives and fist bumps. I got on stage and they handed me the microphone, which I was not expecting. I said how exciting this was and pointed out Adam and said we just got married last month so this is a great wedding gift (this girl has a journalism degree, and I know how to give the media a good lead, haha) and thanked the dealer who gave it and then headed down off the stage still sort of bouncing around.
We were immediately surrounded by some photographers and reporters before being walked over to the trucks where we got to pick between black and red. There were more pictures and questions, and they put me on the radio for a minute. More and more people kept coming up to congratulate us and hug me and everything - another piece of evidence that the running community is the best. These people were so excited for us!
Eventually, we drove away in the black one and got to spend the weekend driving around town in it.
Adam and I sort of have to laugh because nothing in our lives since we started dating last summer has been normal. Seriously... who wins a car in a random drawing?!
The nitty gritty? We've already sold it. Thanks to the ridiculous tax structure in our fine country, we still have to pay taxes on it as if it's income. We'd have been fools to keep it and have to pay out of pocket for all the taxes. This way we came out a little bit ahead.... because even though we sold it, we still have to pay the income taxes on it this year. UGH. (I'm sorry, but if you win something that is free, it should be free... not something the government gets to tax you on. No political discussion needed - it's just dumb. End rant.)
All that's neither here nor there. This has just been surreal. And exciting. And one of the craziest things to ever happen to me. And while we can't say we miss living in Nashville any less, this did redeem Indiana just the tiniest bit for us this weekend.