Discussion
  • Good for you and CONGRATS on your first marathon! I did the half – which was first for me as well! I have NEVER walked, let alone, run 13.1 miles! I don’t know if you remember me and my talking about doing this when I was at H3 last June but I had just registered for it prior to coming. SO, again, CONGRATS to us both for accommplishing something never attempted by either before! Way to go!

    From andi
    November 10, 2011

  • Big Congratulations to you Adam! Very inpiring!

    From Wanda Naranjo
    November 10, 2011

  • Andi – Congratulations on finishing the half! Are you think about a full now?
    Wanda – Thank you so much!

    From Adam Martin
    November 11, 2011

  • Adam, I couldn’t be more proud of you. You have always been my inspiration. Love you Mom

    From Mom
    November 11, 2011

  • Congrats Adam! One more thing off your bucket list! You are an inspiration! What’s next?

    From Karen
    November 13, 2011

Finding inspiration at Mile 25 of 26.2

It was 48 degrees at 6 am as I waited in line for a shuttle and it felt more like cats clawing my stomach than butterflies.  In less than two hours I’d be running my first marathon.

The 26 mile and 385 yard run was established in 1896 as one of the original modern Olympic events.  It was to commemorate a fabled Greek messenger named Pheidippides, who ran from the battlefield near Marathon to Athens announcing the Greek victory over Persia.  Moments after Pheidippides arrived with the word “Νενικήκαμεν” (“We have won”) he collapsed and died on the spot from exhaustion.  It wasn’t until over two centuries later that we sensationalized the daunting event. 

I often admit that running is not my passion.  But, I do have the urge to test my limits and achieve what few have finished, let alone attempted.  Emil Zatopek said of marathon runners, “We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.”  I was ready to experience a newfound glory.

After waiting for over an hour I was finally able to board a shuttle en route to the start of the Inaugural Savannah Marathon.  The event was host to 23,000 runners.  I was slotted into the 3rd wave of participants, set to depart around 7:35 am.  However, my shuttle didn’t arrive to the corral until 7:45.  I had time to quickly use the bathroom, check my gear and run toward the start.  After very little warm-up I crossed the start line with the 17th wave.  I was totally flustered and spent the next 6-8 miles weaving in and out of the pack.  I kept telling myself, “run your race.”  I didn’t want to get caught in trying to catch my pace group.  So, every few minutes I would glance at my Garmin GPS wristwatch to make sure I was staying on track.

Positioned along the route at each mile was a different band and/or cheer group and lining the streets were locals screaming, “WELCOME TO SAVANNAH.”  The enthusiasm was contagious and at points my labored breathing gave way to a harmony of footsteps.  I ran the race exactly how I had planned, eight minute miles, water every other station and a couple sugar gels before the half way mark.  Once I past mile 14 every step I took was now the furthest I had ever run.  My training regimen was rather unconventional, consisting of very short hard bouts of running rather than long monotonous pavement pounds.

At mile twenty-one the pack steered left up an interstate onramp into a heavy head wind.  I spent months wondering what this moment would feel like.  The moment when your legs give up and your mind takes over.  It was as if someone had started pounding my thighs with a handful of glass shards.  The pain, combined with stiffness, lessened the enthusiasm.  Excuses were rhythmically bouncing through my glycogen-depleted mind.  After four miles we exited the expressway overpass and were steered alongside the half marathon finishers for the last mile.  At that point there were hundreds of walkers completing their four hour, thirteen mile race.  I immediately said to myself, “just walk, you’ll be sure to blend right in.”  At that exact moment I saw wartime veteran Steve Martin (pictured below).  Steve has two prosthetic legs.  He served in Afghanistan where he lost both his legs in September 2008.  It was now clear that the pain I had been experiencing paled in comparison to his struggle.  As I trotted by with a breath of inspiration I looked back in to his eyes and for a moment my life was put in perspective.  The marathon wasn’t about running 26.2 miles.  It was about overcoming dissension and discord.   I finished the race enamored with the hordes of people cheering me on including friends, family and loved ones.  It was an accomplishment I will relish for the rest of my life!

 

wartime veteran Steve Martin

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