Over the past 5 years as I have gone from couch to Marathoner I have had the great pleasure of meeting a lot of great people along the way. In my very first organized race back in 2006 I met a 12-year old runner who had already raced more than 20 times. He was shocked to learn this was my first race and couldn’t believe I would be taking on the Philadelphia Marathon a few months later. I’m both proud and a little ashamed that I had to work very hard to take him down over the final .50 miles of that race – but down he went! At the Philadelphia Marathon I ran the final 2 miles with a United States Air Force Clergyman as we completed our first marathon together, struggling through the final miles. During the Pittsburgh race I ran with a young man from Chicago who was trying to qualify for Boston. He was 10 years younger than me and had to reach a goal of 3:10:00 to qualify for this year’s Boston Marathon. At mile 22 he began to slip off of the pace we were running and realized he was going to fall short. He stayed with me up through mile 24 and sent me on ahead to make my qualifying time at 3:17:43. Obviously disappointed he was truly happy for me as we parted ways and made sure to look for me at the finish.
That is the thing I like most about this sport is that at the starting line there may be 5,000 or 10,000 runners – this spring in Boston I will be one of 25,000 and although there will be just one male and one female “official winner”, all of the participants and their family and friends are winners at the end. Setting a goal, being brave enough to chase it down and giving your best effort is really what it is all about, and for me, I have been fortunate to meet amazing people along the way.
I have added a new area to the blog found in the side-bar to the right titled “Amazing Friends” – Over the next few months as race day approaches I will be adding to that area, providing links to websites that are dedicated to or administered by new friends that I meet along this journey. Today I wanted to share with you my friend Danica’s site – she can be found at http://chicrunner.com/
Danica and I met soley through the magic which is social media. Living out on the West Coast in Southern California while I am in Central Texas in Austin the chances of our paths crossing were quite remote. We began following each other through Twitter and I realized that she and I had very much in common. You can read Danica’s story here http://chicrunner.com/about/ where she talks about her passion for running, the challenge that cancer brought to her life and how she embraces the spirit of “live what you love” – which to me cannot possibly be put more powerfully or succintly.
Her zest for life, passion for her friends and her spirit is something that you will really have to experience yourself as I cannot do it justice in this space. I will say however that anyone that will take on the 26.2 mile distance in a pink tutu is someone that I frankly want to meet! Please stop by her site if you have time for some great motivation and a few laughs – she is absolutely the greatest and I am proud to call her an amazing friend.
With 142 days and a little over 700 training miles to go before toeing the line in Hopkinton, MA on April 19th I could not be more excited. Each training mile, each trip that I take traveling for my job, each person that I get the priveledge to talk to about our good friend Dom and his cancer battle is another opportunity for a new experience. I am fortunate enough to do something that I love doing and try very hard to follow Danica’s lead to live what I love.
I can’t promise that I am going to be racing in any pink tutus this spring – but I can promise you this. When we finish at Boston and then come through the chute at Pittsburgh 13 days later they will most definitely know we were there. Thank you Danica for all of the encouragement and inspiration!