Tuesday, February 14, 2012

13.1 Miles

It started with a hand shake, witnessed by two dear friends and one stranger. I would run a half marathon in 2012 and race in our local 70.3 Ironman in 2013. I know what your thinking and I will answer your question with "Quite right, I AM crazy" but there is no going back now is there?

The truth is, participating in an Ironman is a childhood dream. I was lucky enough to grow up on the Big Island of Hawaii and yearly volunteered at an aid station for the Kona Ironman. The entire day of the race was non-stop excitement. We would wake up at 4am to get a good spot on "the wall" to watch the start of the swim with thermoses of coffee and hot cocoa. After all the swimmers were well on their way, we would head to our appointed spots to help and usually stay until the last runner had passed.

The thing that always amazed me, as I handed out cup upon cup of Gatorade, was the extreme variety of participants. There wasn't just one body type or age range running this race, but people of all shapes and sizes. My favorite participant was an older gentlemen that shuffled through our aid station a little after the 12am deadline. He would not "officially" finish, but he was still moving. Ours was the last aid station before the finish line, a few miles out. As this runner was one of the last on the course, a few of my friends and I decided to cheer him on by running the last few miles with him. There were hundreds of people on the side lines cheering him on, maybe thousands. The finish line was deafening. As I ran beside him with my entourage of friends, he said to me "I feel like the President" and I knew exactly what he meant. Ever since that moment, I have wanted to cross that finish line for myself.

I may never go back and run in the Kona Ironman, but I feel like I owe it to myself to take a baby step. Ok, 13.1 miles is technically a lot of baby steps and although I may be crawling for some of them, I will do this thing....I have to, it's already paid for. If you don't mind, I thought I would take you along on my journey. I think I may need proof someday that I really did do it. Plus I might need some encouragement along the way. Fingers crossed that I keep all my toenails!


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