WOW! What a 48 hours that was. As I mentioned Friday, my sister was kind enough to register for us on Saturday. I received a text message that read “Congratulations, you are now signed up for your first Marathon”. It was at this point that the reality started to kick in. I think it was better that I didn’t have time to really think about what was waiting on us at 7am Sunday morning. It is very hard to get your head around 26.2 miles and at least 4 hours straight of running. Driving up to Cleveland (from Columbus) on Saturday night, I zeroed the trip ticker just to get a feel for how far 26 miles is. Trust me…it is REALLY far.
So there we were lined up with nearly 13,000 other people on the streets of Cleveland (half and full marathon runners) and the temps were a very chilly 40 degrees. The horn went off and the sound of “Cleveland Rocks” filled the air. I cannot begin to express how special it was to accomplish this in my hometown. We started off by running by the LeBron James “Witness” billboard, passed “The Q” and Progressive Field, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Science Museum, Cleveland Browns Stadium and across the Hope Memorial Bridge. Great memories to kick off this race. My wife and I were cruising through the first 10 miles. Literally.
When we hit the later stages of 11, 12 and 13, we were running on the freeway right next to Lake Erie. We had been warned that it was a slow and steady incline and the warnings proved true. We got through it and made our way on to the second half of the marathon. This was uncharted waters for me as I have never run more than 13 miles in my life. The next 4 miles were flat and somewhat boring so it was good to have my wife right next to me. Around mile 18, things started getting interesting. The legs started to go and I knew the next 8 miles would be all mental.
It was such a blessing to make it through the last 8 miles and home stretch. I hate to admit it, but I felt really good as we cruised into the final three miles. It got very long and tough the last 3, but we kept at it and crossed the finish line holding hands. Great day. Great weather. Great memories. I don’t know that I will put a full marathon the schedule any time soon (the half marathons are much more fun), but it is a moment and a day I won’t soon forget. My sister did awesome and sharing the day with 2 very special ladies in my life (my wife and sister) made it even better. Thank you Cleveland for one more great memory!
Final Time: 4 hours and 20 minutes
Place: 1241 out of 9504
Best sign I read all day – “Run like you stole it”!