Monday, March 26, 2007

Sunday in Vienna

We headed out to the race around 9 am. Oh. My. Word. There were over 1000 people in this race! Steve started his semi-marathon mid-pack. It was mind boggling to watch the people, literally,stream past us. I asked Maria if she had ever read the phrase, "a sea of humanity"? She said yes, but she didn't really understand. I explained and then pointed at the race. She smiled - perfect understanding! We settled down to watch.

The course had a loop around a river that they had to do three times. So we were able to see Steve several times during the race from one of the bridges. Gabi and Florin counted and at the end of the first lap he was in 753rd place. Very good! He still looked great.

We went to get the kids numbers and find out where they needed to go. They were, of course, very excited.

Steve came in strong, but to quote him, "I left nothing out there". Meaning that he had plenty to finish strong, but didn't feel like he could have run any faster. He manged to trim a chunk of time off his last half-marathon. He finished 566 out of over 1500 runners.

Alexa had her race and did great! Maria and Florin were next up. They had to run twice the distance, since they were in the older age group. The girls ran first. Maria ran the first loop at a moderate pace and was around mid-pack. Then she opened it up and started passing girls. She finished in 8th place out of 21 girls her age. She was only 30 seconds behind the top finisher.

Florin ran a great race also. He ended up 5th out of his age group.

We went to eat lunch in the mall next to the race. It's a good thing too. Gabi noticed all these trophies set up and all the children runners gathering. He went down to watch and they called Alexa's name. She won her age group and got a HUGE 1st place trophy! Very exciting!

We went back to the apartment to drop off the trophy, medals, goodie bags, and stinky clothes then headed out to the zoo.

It was fantastic. We saw several animals we had never seen. The Vienna zoo does a great job of providing open areas for the animals close to their natural habitat and opportunities for people to see them up close. The kids had a fantastic time.

We headed back to the apartment. The Bucurs stayed in and napped. They nap later than we do. We headed out for dinner. We found a pizza place on the street and had some fantastic pizza while sitting on a bench in Vienna.

To quote Maria in our prayers from last night, "Thank you Lord for just a fun and fantastic day in Vienna".