About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Scenes from last year’s half marathon

I was on duty with the Fredericksburg Rescue Squad last year for the Marine Corps Historic Half marathon. With this year’s race scheduled for this Sunday, I am reminded of several scenes from last year:

* Our ambulance was stationed at the corner of William Street and Sunken Road, so we had a great view of the runners as they came down the William Street hill beside the University of Mary Washington. This was at mile 4 of the race, and even then Tim Young had a big lead. In fact, as I looked up the hill, he was the only runner visible for quite a while. The Fredericksburg native went on to finish in just under 1 hour, 9 minutes. The second-place finisher was almost four minutes behind him.

* One of the runners juggled three balls as he went by us. Later, other people who were watching the race at other locations said he was juggling as he went by them. This fellow apparently juggled for the entire 13.1-mile race.

* At one point, before the race started, a Mary Washington Hospital nurse drove up to the city policeman who was posted near us. She was supposed to be at work but had been driving around trying different routes to reach the hospital. She was stopped at every turn, she said, because of the road closings. The policeman couldn’t do anything for her, and she drove away in a huff. What surprised me most was that she seemed surprised that a race was being held that morning and that it was affecting her commute.

* Another runner pulled from the pack when she saw the ambulance and ran up to our crew. She whispered in the ear of one of our female crew members, and all of the females on the crew huddled with their purses. They handed the runner something, and she climbed into the back of the ambulance. She emerged a few minutes later, said thanks, and continued running. (You figure it out.)