Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2002 Disneyworld marathon memories

7 years ago today I ran my 7th marathon for Kelly.

This marathon was run 3 days before Kelly's 13th birthday. A birthday she was not expected to live to see.

This was a marathon I should have stopped at the one mile mark, but I am not very smart.

What I lack in smarts, I make up for with stubborness and of course I had to somehow finish for Kelly. She didn't give up when the doctors said there was nothing to be done. When you run to honor someone like that, quitting is not an option.

I remember it starting to drizzle around the 12 mile mark. Running right by the finish of the 1/2 marathon and knowing there is still 13.1 miles to go. Not a fun feeling when you are having a bad day.

The drizzle turns into a downpour for 6 or 7 miles. It is raining so hard cars are pulling over as the winshield wipers can't keep up. The runners run on. That is what runners do.

The advil I am carrying in my shorts is totally dissolved by the torrential downpour. Looking back I realize how little I knew about marathon running. Taking ibprofen during the race is taboo.

Somewhere after the 20 mile mark, I remember thinking for the first time that I might be able to finish.

I am so happy to be able to stop running. My running shorts feel like they weigh 40 pounds. My socks are soaking wet. Amazingly I didn't get a blister.

I was so cold riding the bus back to the hotel.

I went shopping later that day to buy some birthday presents for Kelly at the Disney store. I don't remember what I bought. I am sure it was some Eeyore stuff. That was her favorite Disney character.

I remember writing a much more detailed recap 7 years ago for Kelly on her birthday. The tears I wept the year before were now tears of joy.

I sent her flowers that year for her birthday. She was so excited about that.

I always felt such a closeness to Kelly when I ran.

When I was in Seattle a couple of months later I gave her the marathon medal she had earned that day. She hung it on her IV pole at the hospital.

She's my hero forever and always!

1 comment:

  1. Ross,

    You are amazing. We love you!!

    God Bless