America, October 31, 2006
A 26.2 mile running street par-tay!
It was a beautiful morning for a run, cool, clear, crisp, to the joy of the 21,000 runners awaiting the starting gun at the 31st Annual Marine Corps Marathon.
As they waited to cross the start line, a few thousand held up by a race-day heart attack, I bid them well. I was not in the pack, I was not at the start, I was in bed, sound asleep. Remember that I am an Olympic distance triathlete, not a marathoner.
Still, I could not miss this giant race, this test of endurance, this 26.2 mile street par-tay!
Yes, that's right, from beginning to end, the course was not run alone, not run in silence, not run without each side of the course clogged with over 100,000+ friends and family of those running fools.
I was there too, I was cheering on those who spent months training. Mornings of 10 mile runs, nights of bathtub soaks, and shin splints. Worry, fear, doubt all nagging at the mind until the day of the race.
This race day was wonderful, easy, kind to those well trained. And those who snuck in. Yes, I too ran a bit of the marathon. About four miles through Washington to cheer friends on, giving them support and snacks as they coasted along.
You go Amy! You go John! You go Aaron!
You go on with your bad selves in the "People's Marathon." And you go, finishing the entire race, honest with your self, honest with the challenge. You can claim the title "marathoner" with pride, dignity, and respect.
Which does not extend to two women disqualified from the top 10. Cheaters, they soil the accomplishments of others, the races, the supporters, and most importantly, the Marine Corps.
Thank you US Marine Corps. From the famous Iwo Jima Memorial to the middle of Independence Avenue, the 31st Marine Corps Marathon is a great success!