This weekend I finished the Wineglass Marathon in Corning NY. It wasn’t pretty as I was running with a nagging foot injury and only got to do one training run in the 30 days leading up to the race, but the goal wasn’t a lightning fast time, it was to finish. As I was running I was thinking about the six months of training that led up to this race and all that it took.
Coach Ed is a long time friend who has not only continued to share his wisdom and experience with me, but he even shows up on early mornings to run with me and give that extra boost of motivation. When I ran my first marathon in Rehoboth Beach DE, he drove all the way there to give race support and to run me in on my last 6 miles. His friendship and mentoring mean the world to me.
Then I have a great group of friends & family who regularly join me on training runs (Jesse, Eric, Chris, Brian…). These guys keep me on track to complete my training and push me to run even harder. Without them I don’t know if I would have made it out on all those training runs.
Without fail injuries show up at all the wrong times. When I injured my foot a month ago I thought I’d have to miss the race, but my friend Marc, who is a sports therapist, went above and beyond and worked on my foot numerous times and continuously gave me hope that the race could still go on.
During the race you meet a brand new group of people who become a part of your support system. Today there were hundreds of people on the sides of the road cheering, giving high fives, and shouting encouragement as we ran by. Then along the way you see friends with big smiles and they call you by name and encourage you. Lastly you meet fellow runners who are grueling out the miles with you. They too bring words of encouragement and pats on the back which help you to keep going. All of these people join you for those 26.2 miles.
Finally, I know for a fact I couldn’t have finished today without my wife Erin giving me incredible race support. She drove me to and from the race, she hugged me and told me she loved me before the race, she met me at miles 13 & 21 with big colorful encouragement signs & with refills on water and Gatorade and a protein bar, she cheered me in at the finish line, and then told me she was proud of me when I finished. On mile 12 and 20 I kept telling myself to just keep pushing because I’ll see Erin soon, and in just seeing Erin it put a spring in my step and helped me keep going. I’m beyond blessed to have Erin as my wife and best friend. Can’t even begin to put words to how thankful I am to God for her.
Marathon running would seem to be an individual sport, but it’s not. Without question it’s a team sport. When a runner crosses that finish line, they might be the one getting the medal, but Coach Ed, Jesse, Eric, Chris, Brian, Marc, friends, cheering crowds, other runners, and Erin made that victory possible. So thank you to the community of people I have the blessing of running and doing life with. You guys mean so much me, and ‘WE’ won today!