I’ve been struggling to think of the best way to describe yesterday’s marathon in words. I think that the “hardest (physical) thing I’ve ever done in my life” sums it up.
Sunday morning I was up early for my usual coffee and water. I waited to eat a bagel until right before we were leaving as I knew we would have quite the delay before actually crossing the start line.
Around 6 AM we taxied it over to our fabulous VIP Balbo tent, courtesy of the MMRF.
Private gear check, bathrooms, drinks, food, and a place to sit. I can’t think of a better way to start a race day.
We met up with the rest of our team and before we knew it we were heading to Columbus to find the open corral and line up.
I left my camera in gear check and attempted to film pieces of the race with my new Sony video camera, so we’ll see if I can edit enough to share. For now I have a few race pics courtesy of marathon foto and some of the after party.
With that statement, you’ve caught on that we finished the marathon. 26.2 miles. Over $17,000 raised by Team Hoagie for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Even better, all 70 members of the MMRF Chicago marathon team, including two patients, finished the race. A race that around 12,000 participants were unable to finish because of the unexpected increase in the heat index which would eventually lead to red level course conditions.
Going into the race I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I didn’t think it would be that hard. At times I doubted myself both physically and mentally, but taking it one mile at a time, stopping to stretch (and use the facilities), and drinking more warm yellow Gatorade and water than I’ve ever seen in my life got me to the finish line.
The spectators and aid station workers also played a huge part in getting us through those tough moments. Thanks to Jenny we had our names on our shirts, and hearing my name called out by countless strangers was so incredibly motivating. Not to mention the high fives. I’m not sure I would have made it without the high fives.
Around mile 18 BMB and I knew we were throwing our time goals out the window and just wanted to cross that finish line strong, and safe. That last mile is one I may never forget. After so many miles the end was in sight, and we were going to do it – become marathoners. We finished around 5:14, much later than we planned on and trained for, but we were together, smiling, and healthy.
The feeling of accomplishment we got as we crossed that finish line was amazing. Having our best friends do the same made it unforgettable.
The rest of the day was spent in celebration.
Also, ice baths.
Then more celebration.
I’m off to rest after a day spent waddling around the city, and I’ll hopefully have a video to share with you soon, struggles and all.