Saturday, April 25, 2009

Another Half-Marathon Completed

I finished another half-marathon. This year my time was 5 minutes slower than last year, but the performance was good considering the bad training. The music was awesome during the race. I decided to only use my iPod for the first 2 miles. I would go to see all the bands in concert. The Country Music Marathon is quite an experience - 35,000 runners, concerts, and good people.

I met an awesome young lady with the best personality. She looked like she was in junior high, but actually she was a 25 year old military police office. She was running the full marathon - just because. I later found out from her mother, who was also pleasant, that she actually ran in the Iraq marathon. That's correct, Iraq. Yes, that would be 130 degrees with full gear on for 26.2 miles. She is also well-trained in the martial arts. She and her only sibling are both doing heading back over there to do their third tour of duty. My prayers and gratitude go out to that entire family. Just meeting them was worth the experience. I don't remember your name, but if you stumble across this blog, please keep in touch. I consider you a lifetime friend.

As for the other 34,999 runners, they were all interesting and a joy to be with on this hot day. I remember the lady who grabbed the free beer from the side of the street in a back neighborhood, the guy offering free pancakes, and guy running in flip-flops. But the highlight was a cool seasoned gentleman from Detroit. He screamed, "come on young blood, you can do it", which helped me pick up the pace for another three miles. During those three miles, he ran by the crowd dancing, slapping high fives, and saying "God bless you" to everyone. He had to be in his mid-50's. Wherever you are, I hope you are doing well - thank you.

We all came there for more than 35,000 different reasons, but for a few hours today we were all running for the same reason, or goal - THE FINISH LINE. May you all reach your finish line. If you don't have one, make one.

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