On Saturday my wife and I ran in the Air Force Half Marathon in Dayton Ohio. We paid to run in this race several months ago so it was something that loomed over my running schedule all summer. As late as about three weeks ago I was still not convinced I could finish this one. A very hot and humid summer coupled with random injuries had my doubts high and my spirits low. Glory goes to God as I just kept pushing and I’m so glad I did.

The evening before the race we made our way to Dayton to meet up with one of my best friends and his wife for dinner. It wasn’t the original plan, but worked out well as they are getting ready to move to Park City Utah. This will more than likely be the last time I see him for quite some time. We had a great meal together and then made our way to stay with the brother and sister-in-law of our friends Matt and Rachel Wojnarowski. Though we had never met them, we were fast friends because THEY ARE TAR HEEL FANS!!! Nuff said….

The race began with two F-16’s doing a fly over which was way cool. Though the real focus comes for our next race in October, I decided to wear my CancerKicker.org shirt for the Dayton Half too. It was a great reminder to me as I ran the course that there are amazing people fighting much more important and greater battles than a few miles of running. Speaking of miles….Heather and I stayed together for the first 10.

Somewhere around mile 9 I’m pretty sure I blew a tire.

Somewhere around mile 10 I saw two hubcaps fly off…

It was at that point that I waved to Heather to “go on”. That coincided with yet another incline. While I battled out the last 3 miles, Heather ran a great race and finished strong (1:54). Her marathon training for October gave her great strength for the longer distance. She finished 2 minutes ahead of me and was waiting at the finish line with a smile (1:56). We also ran into (no pun intended) our good friend Tom Minturn who had just wrapped up a 1:47 first ever half marathon! Incredible time for his first race.

I would be remiss if I didn’t say some thank you’s. A HUGE thank you to Matt and Rachel for making the journey over to Dayton and bringing their entire family to the finish line to cheer us home. Nothing compares to friends that sacrifice their day to stand and applaud. That was very special to Heather and I both. Big thanks to “my guys” Chris M, Jeff K and Matt N for the texts and phone calls to see how the race went. It means a lot when a friend remembers and reaches out like that. Much love to the twitter family too that sent their well wishes and follow up encouragement.

We’ll do this again in about 4 weeks and I am PUMPED for that day. Several friends are competing in their first race. We’re also going to show Phil Brabbs our full support by wearing our CancerKicker.org shirts. If you haven’t done so already, join us won’t you? You don’t have to run the race. Just get the shirt! Details HERE.