Well, it has been a week since I ran my 5th marathon, only 7 more to go for the year! I know everyone has been anxiously waiting for my next blog about the adventure that I had this last race. Sorry to keep you waiting, but all my kids were gone for a week and I thought it was better that I take myself fishing instead of sitting at the computer. And if you knew how long it takes me to write this, you would understand more.
With that said I must tell you that this marathon was one of the most, if not the most, memorable races that I have ever had. It was by far the easiest race to get to. I’m not sure who gave me the directions, but they did a great job! It was extremely well put together, with a great start that included plenty of fan fare and fireworks to kick it off. It also had more than enough support along the entire course. This included the best water station and support team that any race could offer, and I had a traveling food and support team with me from start to finish!! No other race can provide those kinds of benefits for every runner who signed up! This one did just that!! The finish line was the topper, loaded with loud, exuberant fans cheering every finisher until the last one crossed the line. I was able to run through a wonderful finishing line, with all the streamers and decorations that any runner could want. The post race snacks were also a big hit, from the usual bananas, and oranges to the unusual watermelon and granola. And this race didn’t skimp on the post race party either, providing Corona Light free of charge to all the finishers, AND the workers.
The race itself was a very difficult and hilly race, which I would recommend for anyone who wants a challenge. But a little advice to the race organizer…maybe we should run this one backwards! I’m not sure who the moron was that decided to put ALL the HARD hills at the end, but that wasn’t very good planning! The great news for me is that I did something that I never thought that I would do, and that is I WON A MARATHON!!! That’s right everyone, I won first place overall! Shocking, here I was a sprinter/ hurdler in college and couldn’t stay up with any of the distance people, and now I’m winning marathons! Who would have thought!?
O.K. here’s the kicker; I was the only one running! This was the first ever Waxhaw One Man Marathon! I couldn’t find a marathon close enough to fit into my schedule, so with the help of many, I made my own. There are so many people to thank for making this a great day. First, I must thank Tracy Hays, and the Magnolia Ridge Girls for a wonderful start and finish line. These girls had everyone in the neighborhood sign a big banner for me to start and finish from. They also had the kids hang streamers from the finish line tent, and got up very early just to see me off. Girls, big thanks! It really made it a special day! My wife was able to make me a finishing shirt and set up a great post race feast for me even though she had been out-of-town for the entire week. You can’t buy the kind of support I get from my wife! Quite lucky am I! Ron and Tammy and their entire family stayed with me the whole way. Providing not only water, but most importantly incredible support. Ron either rode his bike or ran with me the whole way. No family has more enthusiasm than that family. Chris Tenold (aka BFF) also rode his bike the entire way with me, handing me protein bars and Gatorade from his backpack. This was quite possibly Mr. Tenolds best day ever! Love ya’ BFF! His wife Julie came and picked up all our kids and drove them from place to place yelling at me to “push it”…Something you always love to hear on mile 24!! But I’ll tell you what, seeing and hearing Julie and the kids sure helped me through those last miles! Steve, Michele, Katrina, and Tom all from the Blue Ridge Relay team (a team I cherish by the way) finished the race along side of me. And then there was Bob, another member of our relay team. He was waiting at the finish line for me in his wheel chair, cheering louder than anyone. For those who don’t know, Bob was hit by a logging truck in his car only a few weeks ago, and still there he sat waiting at the house, just to see me finish a self-made marathon… I can see no better way to finish a marathon then in front of a man who even sitting down… stands so very tall! Thanks Bob, unbelievable!
The post race party will go down as one of the best. Where else can you sit and have great conversation with great people at 10:30 in the morning! Days like that make me realize what many great things running has given to me. For those of you who wonder why I run, there it is. Thanks to all for making it a fantastic and memorable day. One that I will never forget. And not just because I WON!