Greetings friends and happy Monday!
I spent most of the day yesterday vegging out with Mackenzie, watching Castaway and Diary of a Wimpy Kid to recover from the half marathon I ran in the morning. It was glorious. We also spent time coloring one of her fuzzy posters. Have you seen these before:
I used to love coloring these as a kid, and now I get to do them with my mini-me!
Saturday I picked up my packet. It was super easy and fast. As well as well organized. I love the shirts!
My niece, Ashlee stayed overnight with us Saturday night so we could ride together to the race. We decided we were going to wear tutu’s for the race, but when we got there we noticed we were the ONLY ones!!
At first we were a tad worried we wouldn’t be take seriously! But the compliments started rolling in as we got ready to head for the start line, so we knew it was a good move.
In comparison to the Hershey Half Marathon that I’ve been running the past few years, the size of this one was quite small. But the good news is they had their largest turnout to date with around 1100 runners/walkers participating!
The course was “okay”. It was definitely flatter than what I was used to, and it was nice to run along the river, but it also got quite boring at times, and the spectators weren’t as many as what I’m used to seeing.
It was rather warm as well. I’m used to running my halves in mid-October and this was early September and it got quite warm! Compound that with having to run in areas with no shade and it made for some yucky conditions at times. The plus side of running by the water was that we did have a nice breeze.
So how’d the race go?
It was my worst time ever! I finished in 2:39:28! But it was also one of the best finishes I’ve ever experienced as well! Why? Because of this guy right here:
I ran in to Dejuan between the 9 & 10 mile marker. He was on the ground trying to scootch himself off the course. A few of us stopped to check on him. Here his legs were severely cramping and he could barely straighten them out.
It was awesome to see so many people stop to come to his aid! He had more GU packets than he knew what to do with! I remembers I had Gatorade with me in my belt and gave that to him as well as some raisins.
He said he’d be fine and we should do on ahead. As we started to disperse I realized I wouldn’t be able to get my mind back in the race unless I knew he was okay. I turned back and told him he was stuck with me till the end. lol
He said he told his father in law he would cross the finish line and that’s what he was going to do come hell or high water. The tenacity of the human spirit is an amazing thing!!
We ran, we walked, we hobbled. We talked about our families, and before we knew it, we were on the home stretch! As we crossed the finish line together, we shook hands. WE DID IT! I was so PROUD and HONORED to have met Dejuan! He gave me an entirely new outlook on what this running gig is all about.
Even if I HAD gotten a PR that day, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy it knowing I had left someone behind. Afterwards I got to meet his beautiful wife and son. And his father in law who he kept his word for. He made me out to sound like some sort of savior for him, but in reality—he was the shining star! So many others may have given up, but he didn’t.
Another wonderful thing that happened yesterday is that my niece kicked that runs behind!! She finished in 1:57!!! I am so incredibly PROUD of her as well!!
She has most definitely caught the running bug after this. There’s no doubt in my mind! Although, I think I’m going to spectate for a little while and take some time off from distance running, I’ll live vicariously through her!!
No day is complete without getting to see one of your favorite “blends”! Danielle ran her very first half marathon yesterday, and she did awesome as well!
Last but certainly not least, I also ran in to a 2nd cousin of mine that I haven’t seen in 10 years! Van is such a neat guy, but lives fairly far away so it’s hard to keep in touch. When we realized we were both running yesterday, we made sure to get together for a photo op! He most recently finished the Appalachian Trail after hiking sections of it over the past 14 years! Quite an accomplishment!
It was such an awesome day filled with fellowship, friendship, heartwarming moments, and accomplishments—I just can’t get over how blessed I am to know such incredible people! I’m feeling very thankful to have had this experience.
And now I have these memories and a keepsake to remind me of the day:
I realized yesterday that when I run, it’s more about the people I get to meet than what my actual finish turns out to be.
Why do you run?