I got this wonderful email from a reader that I wanted to share. She emailed me after my column about the race ran May 4.
I thoroughly enjoyed your article about the Oklahoma City Marathon. Actually, I was rolling with laughter as I too was out there walking the 13.1 miles and I was well behind you. I dared not look behind me to see if there was still anyone slower than me (according to my results, there were a few!), as I had a job to do and that of course was to finish the half marathon.
A little background history. This was my first half marathon or for that matter any race, I am 59, a caregiver to my husband who is wheelchair bound from multiple sclerosis, and as most caregivers, out of shape. My young adult daughter encouraged me to start training for this marathon in early January as she was training to run her first full marathon. Many days were spent walking the training schedule in wind, cold, some ice, etc. I thought the training was rough but little did I know what we were in for on the day of the marathon.
I was drenched before I even crossed the starting line. Thirteen miles plus seemed impossible with the day’s miserable weather until I thought of my husband home in a wheelchair (I dare to wimp out when I can walk and he can not?), my daughter who trained so hard and was running twice as far and always encouraged me over the months, and then when I felt close to tears I remembered the purpose of this marathon. It was not suppose to be about me, but to remember those who died, those who survived, and those forever affected by that fateful day of the bombing. I remember that day well and always will.
So, thank you for giving me a good laugh and sharing your embarrassment on how far back you may have been. As the hours wore on and my legs became numb from wet clothes enhanced by a cold northeastern wind, I knew this was a marathon not based on my physical ability but on my mental perseverance. Now knowing that others felt what I did, I may, just may, do it again next year!
And oh, the icing on the cake was the hail coming down as my daughter crossed the finish line!