After completing 12 Marathons in 12 months, I had one more “bonus” one to go. I had signed up for (and “won” the lottery to get into) the Marine Corps Marathon on October 25 in Arlington, Virginia.
Allison and the kids were going to run the 10k (along the last 6.2 miles of the marathon course), but life got in the way and they ultimately couldn’t make it. In any event, I wasn’t sure if I would like a large marathon (about 23,000 finishers). I loved it!
We got to the starting line around 6 AM and had to wait in the drizzle and cold to go through security. After a while, rather than just put you through security, they just waived everyone through. OK, “security” done. Then it was off to the races. A crowded start through Virginia wound us across the Key Bridge into Georgetown. Running down the main street in Georgetown (where they filmed a Nike commercial) was enjoyable. The best though, was yet to come. We rounded out by the Lincoln Memorial then down Constitution and Independence Avenues, past the Jefferson Memorial, out in front of the Capitol Building, down past the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, across back into Arlington and ending at the Marine Corps monument (commonly called Iwa Jima Memorial). It was an enjoyable experience and I will absolutely try to get in next year.
The fact that the guy in this picture could end up running 12 marathons in 12 months starting the year after that picture was taken is a testament to a lot of things and a lot of people. Today I had to laugh because a pretty physically fit person called me to ask if I would be part of their relay running team. Me, the guy usually picked toward the end in high school sports was being asked to anchor a running team. Cracked me up. Unfortunately I couldn’t do it as I already had a fundraising walking event planned for the same day, but I still got a kick out of even being considered.
In any event, this past weekend was my 12th marathon. Steamtown marathon in Scranton, PA. I started it the same way I started my first, with my friend Michele by my side for the first 11 miles or so. Running with her is great because (a) she’s shorter than me and (b) she’s a doctor so if I get in trouble, the odds are I’ve got some good help by my side.
My cousin Terecia also ran it, but insisted I not stay with her as she didn’t want to hold me back. It was her second marathon, and I applaud her fighting spirit to get through it. I’m often asked which of my 12 marathons is my favorite, and I’m really not sure. They all had different advantages. The Hambletonian was my first – and in my hometown, so that was great. The Adirondack Marathon had the coolest medal and was beautiful. The Walkway over the Hudson Marathon crossed a river, so that was pretty cool.
I’ve learned not to chase a specific time in marathons. I like to be in the top 50% and usually am. I’ve learned though it really is the journey and not the destination. I show the picture above only to show you that no matter where you are, it’s not too late to make a change to get healthy. In 2013, I was morbidly obese. By October of 2015, I had run 12 marathons in 12 months. I did it all through diet and exercise. And if I can do it, so can you.