Personally, every year I think I will struggle to find a new goal or reason to push onward in endurance sports.Every year, thankfully I’m wrong! I’ve always been an athlete, since my first phrase “soccie ball” as a little girl. If it rolled, I kicked it. If it moved, I chased it. However, I’ve only been on this new journey for a little over 10 years running my first “long” race in 2002 and my first half in 2003. Each year however, I find a new reason to love it. Last year was about celebrating and running events to see the country. Along the way I was inspired by happiness for its own sake in Disney World, strong women running together during the Nike Womens Half, Big Sky Country and friendship in Montana, and 4 girls of all abilities traveling and running together in Northern Michigan (with a little wine thrown in the mix).
Last year was a year of joy and sorrow for me. We lost a dear colleague of mine at Ohio State in a tragic bike accident while competing in her first half Ironman event in New York. She was beautiful, truly, inside and out and made others want to be around her. News of her accident was shocking and heartbreaking; it still is. However, seeing her new husband running the Columbus marathon (as she would have wanted) was overwhelming. I will always remember her as the only Ph.D. engineer that I know who could get away with carrying around an angry bird stuffed animal attached to her laptop bag! Her love for life will always be an inspiration.
There was also joy. My dad’s oldest friend Paul ran his first marathon in his 60th year in 2013. They were the boys who rented a “house” the size of a closet for 13 guys down in Ocean City, NJ and spent the summer watching Bruce Springsteen in dive bars before he was big. He built his girls and my brother and I sand boats every summer, told stories that would bring tears of laughter, and restored an old house with his blood, sweat, and tears. He recently completed The Walt Disney World Marathon, with his wife and one of his granddaughters cheering him on!
I got to run a marathon in Montana. Montana! And a dear friend with whom I hadn’t spoken with since leaving South Carolina in 1997, invited us into her family like it was nothing. We had an amazing 4 days with Amanda and her family in Missoula, not to mention an inordinately beautiful marathon course. It wasn’t my best time on the clock, but I had an amazing time!
Thousands of you crossed the finish line at Cap City in May and The Columbus Marathon in October. Witnessing that is an honor and a privilege; indeed it is why we do what we do! For each of you, the story that led you to the start line and the reason that pulled you through the finish line is different. Some are seeking a brand new challenge and beating it! Many are working to find their limits and bust right through them, like my friends Jenn and Becca at The Columbus Marathon. Often the journey starts for someone else, to raise money or awareness for a cause. Along the way it changes you, your perception, your world, your neighbors.
Isn’t running amazing? The places and stories are as varied as we are; inspiring and incredible.
This time of year we are all excited with the fresh start that the new year brings. We choose to pursue goals for many reasons and find inspiration in all sorts of things along the way. This year I’d like to hear from you all about YOU. What inspires you, why you chose and continue to choose to run or walk in Cap City. I would like to share some of them (with your permission) because YOU are the reason Cap City is great. Thank YOU for inspiring us!
Happy Training and send me your stories at firstname.lastname@example.org, you might just see them in the next blog!