When the starting gun sounds Saturday, the Blue Line Beginners are going to be sprinkled throughout the various pace corrals, with some of us running at under 10-mile minutes, and some of us just hoping to finish the race before the ďSAG wagonĒ drives by and asks if we need a lift.

But thereís no reason we canít start and end the morning together.

After you've parked and walked to the stadium, come find us in Parking Lot 1. That's the same lot where we parked for the trial run and the lot we are using for packet pickup day. That area is generally deserted and weíre just a short walk from the corrals. I plan on being there by 7:45 a.m.

There will be up to 3,000 people running or walking the course, so be sure to wear your blue wristbands and shout a word of encouragement at anyone you see wearing one!

I was hoping we could also gather at the finish line to cheer other BLBers as they arrive. There is an on-field viewing area reserved for racers, sandwiching the final few yards of the course. On a cooler day, it would be wonderful to watch for those wristbands and celebrate each of our teammates, so many of whom are completing their first race ever.

BUT Iíve been warned that the rubber surface of the stadium and the lack of any shade makes it a brutally hot place to be standing for any significant amount of time, especially for anyone that just ran 5 miles under the sun.

So letís not extend the suffering. Cross the finish line, collect your medal if you finished the 8k, retrieve your gear bag if you checked one in, and get your food and beverage. Food is distributed at the back of the stadium on both sides. There are beer stands at all four corners of the stadium, depending on which beer you want. The rootbeer stand is on the southern concourse - closest to Exchange Street and by the scoreboard.

When youíve gotten all that out of the way, come find us on the east concourse (the Spicer Street side) so we can toast our achievement and share our stories. Exit the field at the back and to the right. There is food and beer at this corner. Iím also told this area is less crowded than the west side. If you're a 1-mile runner or walker, you'll get there first. If you're sticking around for the Finisher Festival, settle in there and wave in any other blue wristbands you see.

It takes about 7 to 8 minutes to empty the corrals, so the 8:30 a.m. race won't technically begin for some folks till nearly 8:40 a.m. That means 1 mile runners and walkers should be finishing up around 9 a.m., our fastest runners could be arriving by 9:30 a.m., and the back of the pack will be coming in about 10:10 a.m. Have that third beer and wait for us!

- Paula

Please note: Exchange Street is at the top, so the back of the stadium is at the bottom of this map. Look for the gray boxes marking where we will meet before and after the race.