“The winner of two tickets to tonight’s Tim McGraw concert is Jane Adams. JANE…ADAMS. Please return to the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego registration table immediately.”
The words echo through the convention hall for a second and third time. There is so much going on, people hawking their running wares along the winding aisles of booths, running superstars sharing their stories over microphones in the corners of the room, announcement after announcment floating through the air and stumbling over one another.
I understand; it is hard to hear…but I’m getting nervous.
I’ve been at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon expo for almost two hours, and I’ve got to get, well, rolling. As part of Tim McGraw’s band, the Dancehall Doctors, I have a rehearsal and soundcheck scheduled before the evening show…and my ride to the concert site is standing by.
Come on, Jane. Hear your name. We’ve got to…HERE she is! The marathoner from Riverside, California finally appears, flanked by her daughter and son-in-law, Heather and Larry Stone, to learn she is the winner of two tickets to the Tim McGraw show in San Diego!
WAHOO! Uh-oh. Ew. Two tickets. Three folks. What a good mom; she passes the tickets on to the other two…and they are ecstatic! Now they have to figure out what to do about the party they are set to attend that evening for HIS mother; can they do it ALL?
“What time does the show start?” they ask.
The show starts around 7PM; the tickets will be at the will call window for pickup. I go on to explain that they are also invited to what we call our “pre-show” before the concert – a small acoustic “show before the show” for a select few. A representative for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons will be there to greet and escort them into this VIP event – IF they would like to attend.
They will be up closer and personal, just a stone’s throw from Mr. McGraw and the band, if they would like to go. (Get it? A stone’s throw? Heather and Larry STONE? I do kill me sometimes.) The two of them can hardly contain themselves, and they answer in unison…“Uh…YEAH!”
Can I say it? Dare I? I guess I have to. Tonight…I’m ro-ckin’ with the Stones.
The arrangements are made and I head off through the expo to find my buddy that is driving me back to the gig. On the way, I stop by to holler at my pal and running writer John “The Penguin” Bingham who is giving a talk about completing the marathon. He’s become a good friend in recent years, and I never miss a chance to say hello, even if it is for a hurried drive-by of a hug…which THIS time, it is.
I cross paths with a couple of Olympians on the way out as well. Deena Kastor, I’ve met before in Chicago. A joy of a young lady, she is an Olympic bronze medalist and holds a number of American records, including the women’s marathon. I won’t say I know her, but from what I can see from here, she’s a great gal.
I also meet Meb Keflezighi for the first time. In 2004, Meb surprised everyone when he carried home the silver medal for the marathon at the Olympics, and in 2009 he was the first American to win the ING New York City Marathon in over 27 years. Really cool to meet him; inspiring dude.
We snap a couple of shots before I’m dragged away by my ride back to the gig. Right, right. Today I’m a musician first, a runner second…and we’ve got a concert to do.
The Stones make it to the show that Friday night and have a great time. I give them a call a week later to see how Sunday’s race went. Larry’s results I have found online, but Heather’s are not there initially due to a computer glitch. I’m told that both had a great run, completing the half marathon in just over two hours, side-by-side.
And what about Jane who actually won the tickets? While the kids are taking on the half marathon…she runs the FULL 26.2 miles to earn her own marathon medal at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego.
Run, Jane, run.