I purposely picked the Hampton Inn Green Hills, the closest hotel to the premiere location, the Regal Cinemas Green Hills 16. We could see the entrance to the venue from our window, a very short walk for people who didn't rent a car! The festival site mentioned a different food truck would be on site every day, and I spied the big red truck from that window. We ran down and each got a Sonoran dog from The Rolling Feast (delish) and bumped into Brian, one of the talented cameramen who worked on the documentary. We went back to our room and while snacking I was texting Jen (From Fat to Finish Line, Jersey Jen, Runner #7, awesome chick) and I was trying to figure out where she was staying. Well, turns out, we were in room 504 and she was in 502! I jumped up and ran to knock on her door, only to think, "Maybe I should have asked first..." She wasn't *quite* ready, but after getting to finally meet her talented, sweet husband Marty I got to give her a big squeeze.
Pried myself away from Jen so we could get ready for the pre-premiere red carpet activities, which included photos in front of a step and repeat on an actual red carpet and several interviews of both the cast and the team from Media Meld Studios, the production company that developed the doc. We finally got to meet up with John and his husband Ric, Meredith and Dave, Angela and her Dave, and those Charlie and I saw after the airport. It wasn't quite right being there, just the 7 FFtFLers. For different reasons, Katie, Andrea, Ada, and Jen couldn't make the premiere and Carly was going to the second screening the following Friday. It was definitely a bittersweet celebration.
|Charlie and I before the premiere|
|red carpet photo shoot|
So, we've seen a few rough cuts of the film before the premiere to give our 2 cents as to what we think is perfect or could be improved. Nothing can compare to seeing it on that huge screen with the sound system that a theater has!! This was the probably the 6th time I have seen the film and I *still* needed tissues, which Cynthia graciously shared with me! Hearing the other 11 stories of their fight against obesity and their breaking points is heart wrenching. I could see a piece of me in every scenario told. There were definitely many, many funny moments throughout the race captured on film, but seriously somber ones as well. The film pretty much embodied the roller coaster of events and emotions one goes through on his/her weight loss journey.
|the q&a session after the screening|
The word surreal doesn't even come close to describing what this night was like. All I can say is that I am so grateful I was able to experience it and that Charlie was there to share it with me. We are looking forward to the film possibly screening a lot closer to home so our kids can see it on the big screen as well as all my family and running friends.
The rest of the trip was spent reconnecting with my team mates, talking and laughing, A LOT!! There was a lot of good food and drinks added into the mix. We didn't see much of Nashville and I am okay with that. I know there are must see attractions, like the Grand Ole Opry, but country music isn't my thing, so it just didn't have the pull for me to take time away from my friends to visit. Unfortunately, John and Ric left first thing Sunday morning, Lealah and Mark that afternoon, and Rik and Cynthia Monday morn, so we didn't get enough time with them. Monday we had a great breakfast with those that remained.
|and then there were four...|