Monday, October 29, 2012

Marine Corps Marathon 2012

Last night we had friends over for a carb loading dinner.  These are friends that we knew in California who also happen to have registered for the Marine Corps Marathon and/or live in the same area as us.  I cooked up pasta, made a salad and a pumpkin cake.  Another family brought garlic bread and Italian bread.  We had supper at about 5:45pm and then around 7:30pm had dessert.  Everyone left around 9pm to get to bed for an early morning rise.

Sunday morning I was up before the alarm went off.  I think I was anxious and nervous for everyone.  The men had their oatmeal for breakfast and then we drove to the nearest Metro around 6am.  We took the orange line in and then had to transfer to the blue line.  When we transferred to the blue line it was like being packed into a sardine can.  It was crazy!  I was the last one to make it in on our car before the doors closed.  There really was no room to balance yourself for the ride.  We held onto the handles because everyone was swaying during the short ride.  I was joking with other passengers in our car.  Nothing like preparing for a hurricane by going to a Marathon packed on the metro.  It is not the normal part of hurricane prep.

We got off at the Pentagon.  It was still early but I was able to snap a quick photo with my cell phone.  Then it was a mile walk to the start line.  I had Nathan and Chris stop so I could get a picture before they were on their way.

They headed down to the crowd that was lined up and I stood there for a couple of minutes.  I realized that I wasn't close to the start line and decided to walk further up.  I thought that maybe I could try to get a picture of them as they crossed through the start but there were so many people.  I did take a quick photo to show how many runners there were.
The cannons went off and the runners started.  My plan was to head over to mile marker 10/11 and text Nathan to let him know where I was so they could grab some food and water I had.  I ended up walking further than I needed and saw some of the runners between mile marker 4 & 5.  I knew I had another hour to hour and 15 minutes until the guys would expect to see me at mile 10.  I  made it to just before the mile 10 marker.  I sent Nathan a text to let him know where I was and to inquire where they were.  I didn't hear from him but I knew I still had some time.  I got a text from my mom and as I was responding the guys ran by.  OOOooopps!!  I missed them.

The next plan was to meet them at mile marker 16.  Unfortunately as I walked toward mile marker 11 I realized that I couldn't cross the street to meet them.  I was going to have to run out in front of the marathoners and didn't want to do that.  I saw one marathoner swear at a supporter because they got in her way as they tried to cross.  I thought it would be safer and smarter to stay where I was.  I sent Nathan a text to let him know that I wasn't going to be able to see them at mile marker 16.


I turned around to head back to the finish line.  I was actually able to walk and not jog because this time I knew where I was going and there were signs.  I wish I had noticed that at the start of the race and then I wouldn't have walked around the course as much and could have done some more sightseeing.

On my way back to the finish I walked past a Seabees Memorial and some of Arlington Cemetery     As I was walking past the cemetery some of the first marathoners were approaching the finish line.  I was impressed and surprised.

I thought I scoped out a great spot just before Nathan and Chris would reach the finish line.  I wanted to try and get a spot just after the finish line so I could get them crossing.  I headed to the finish line but there was no way to get there that I could see unless you were a volunteer.  I went back to the spot I noticed earlier and hung out there to wait as other marathoners approached the finish.  As I stood there though I noticed people cutting in front of me and ignoring what the Marines were asking them to do: stay back.  After a while people from the other side crossed over to where I was standing and just pushed their way past/through me.  I was a little annoyed after a while.

A little after 4 hours Chris was approaching the finish.  I did get a picture but you can just barely make him out.  He is in the orange shirt to the right of supergirl.  I tried to scream for him as he ran by since I wasn't up front when he ran by.  He didn't hear or see me.  About 45 minutes later Nathan approached the finish.  He saw me and I was able to snap a picture of him just as he approached the finish line.

I walked to the family linkup location to meet up with Chris and eventually Nathan would join us.  We waited in line to take the metro back.  I took a picture of the both of them with their medals once we got home.  

Congrats to you both for finishing!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

CCR And ORCA Now SAM

Last year I registered MSBA with DUNS (Dun & Bradstreet, Data Universal Numbering System). We needed the DUNS number is order to be entered into the Federal System. Once we received our number we then registered in the CCR (Central Contractor Registration) system. Registering with CCR was necessary to apply for Federal grants. Back in June CCR upgraded to SAM (System for Award Management). We had until the end of the year to make sure that we created an account in SAM and re-confirmed our information. This is when our CCR information would have expired (they expire unless you reactivate it within a year). I did do that today. If your company is in the CCR system don't forget to register in SAM.

AIOD is also registered in CCR along with ORCA (Online Representations and Certifications Application). The great thing about SAM is that it is also an upgrade for ORCA. If you have multiple accounts in these systems you only need one SAM account. This was helpful since I have both MSBA and AIOD registered in these systems.