One week ago today Andy and I completed our first (together, Andy’s 3rd) marathon. We ran the entire race together, except a few spots where I was about 1 second in front of him–including the finish line… (and 2 places ahead :) )
It was the most amazing experience of my life. I slapped every little kids’ hand I could. I almost high-fived every lady cheering at Wesley. However, I did not kiss any of them and made sure (by looking over my shoulder) Andy followed suit.
Not only was the crowd inspirational, but also were the other runners. The four people etched in my memory are as follows:
A man on heartbreak hill running with a breathing tube in his nose. He was hauling a wooden cart attached as a backpack with an oxygen tank. He was easily 55 years old. As I passed him, I said “good job” and he replied with effort “thank you.” I wanted to thank him for being brave enough to do the race and determined enough to haul was looked like an extra 20 pounds up a ginormous hill with a killer headwind.
As we ran through BC there was a man who ran with two black metal legs. He had a guide next to him. The crowd’s cheers were deafening–truly amazing. No legs, running a marathon and running way faster than me.
A man pushed himself up a hill with one foot as he sat backward in his wheel chair. One leg, giant hill, pushing himself 26.2 miles. Insane.
There were several blind runner duos, but there was one man who was booking with his guide. He passed me 2x.
When I hit mile 23 and my legs were aching, I thought about those people and how I could NOT walk. I thought about their inspirational story and how their friends and families must be amazed. My parents and brother came up to watch the marathon. They were beaming with pride and happiness for our accomplishment. But, I can’t imagine how incredible those families felt.
Dana Farber held a kick-ass after marathon massage and food Recovery Zone for us. At a table of women, I listened to a couple first-timers say “once is enough” for them. But, despite all the pain, there was a great sense of accomplishment, a sense of hope and a realization that we can never do enough. Our ability to raise a about $14K and raise awareness is worth the months of freezing training and hard-work.
We’ll do it again. But maybe, next time in New York–where it’s flatter :)