Top 3 Running Memories

In honor of National Running Day, I’d like to share my top 3 running memories:

1. Not only was the Walt Disney World Marathon in 2012 Runner’s first marathon, it was the same day we got engaged. After 26.2 miles to think about it, Runner popped the question as we walked by the Disney castle. His original plan was to do it at the finish line… but no dice! The fences kept me from running up to him, and by the time we reunited at the port-a-potties the timing was just not right. More on the marathon proposal here.

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2. My sister, the opera singer, was giving her senior recital the weekend of the Boston Marathon in 2013. Upon Runner’s request we stayed until Monday to watch the big race. We even dragged my Mom and brother with us to the expo! The whole city was buzzing, with energy for the race. We even tracked down the one bar that was serving the special Sam Adams marathon brew. On Monday, our hotel was out in the suburbs so we decided not to go all the way back into the city that morning. We watched the very first runners pass through at the infamous Heartbreak Hill in Newton, MA. The crowds were so positive and the weather was amazing. We headed out of town shortly, only to hear the horrible news about the bombings on our drive back to DC.

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3. The New York City Marathon in 2013 was a race of epic proportions.  Runner was entered in the race as a Guide with Achilles International. We had a great time checking out the expo – I even made a “big head” poster of Runner (as seen here). My friend Tanya and I waited patiently at mile 14 for Runner and Rick to come by. The race app kept us at ease because it gave real time updates on where Runner was. It was a blast cheering for anyone who had their name on their shirt.

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My Fall Marathon Triumvirate

Runners cover the Verrazano Narrows Bridge to begin the New York City Marathon

Runners cover the Verrazano Narrows Bridge to begin the New York City Marathon

Most big cities in America have an annual marathon now, but arguably there are three that stand out in the crowd as being at the top of the list. These three, Boston, Chicago, and New York are known not just throughout America but throughout the world.  Boston, taking place in April, holds a special place in America, not just because of the recent tragedy, but because it stands alone as the dominant spring marathon.  Chicago and New York compete against each other for attention throughout the fall, with Chicago falling on October 12 and New York occurring on November 2 this year.  Despite the fall competition, both races now must draw their runners in a lottery in order to make it fair.

Any runner, including this one, who looks to run marathons, wants to run all three of these races.  I was blessed last year to be selected by the Achilles Foundation to run the New York City Marathon as one of their guides for a wheel chair athlete.  I got to run the New York City Marathon, including experiencing all the pomp and circumstances of the start up the Verrazano narrows bridge to the finish in Central Park, all while helping a well deserving athlete accomplish his goal as well.  The year before that I ran what is arguably the greatest amateur marathon in America, the Marine Corp Marathon.  Each of these races were very special to me and I hope to run each many more times in the future.

Runners start the Marine Corp Marathon in Arlington, VA

Runners start the Marine Corp Marathon in Arlington, VA

This year I decided to cross another off the list by applying for the lottery to run the Chicago Marathon.  I was lucky to be selected but soon after I received the confirmation e-mail from the Chicago Marathon I realized that I had a huge decision to make. Last year I deferred my entry into the 2013 Marine Corp Marathon once I was selected to run in New York so I had entry into that race this year also.  Plus I have an intense desire to volunteer for Achilles again this year in New York to continue my wonderful experience with that race and that organization that began last year.  But could I run three marathons in the span of just four weeks (Chicago being October 12, Marine Corp being October 26 and New York being November 2)?

Chicago is my goal race this fall.  There is where I hope to peak and push myself for the best time possible.  Marine Corp will be a much easier run two weeks later.  I know that I obviously will not be in top form with such an important race so soon before but I am sure that I can finish with a respectable time.  Plus, I have a few friends that are running Marine Corp this year that I want to run with and share in their

The start of the Chicago Marathon

The start of the Chicago Marathon

experience.  My big decision, which will have to be made soon, is weather I want to apply to help Achilles International again this year in New York.  Since I have helped in the past, and have only gotten faster, thus capable of helping more athletes, I would be able to easily help again this year if I want, but do I want to after running two previous marathons that month?

As I really begin my training for my fall marathon season I am looking at the challenges ahead of me with anticipation.  I know that the training will be difficult and not the most enjoyable at times, but it will be worth it at the finish lines.  I just wonder now if I will feel that since of accomplishment at the end of two races or if I will complete my Marathon Triumvirate in the fall.