During a run recently, I started thinking about the marathon I ran a few years ago, and what an amazing experience that was. And then I realized that there are a couple of aspects of that experience that I would like to share.

The marathon, for those unfamiliar with the term, is a 26.2 mile race.  There are hundreds of them all over the U.S. and the world. It is an Olympic event. It is unique because the distance is so extreme.  It takes most people at least six months of training and preparation. It took me nine months. The majority of runners who decide to take on the challenge of running a marathon do so with the help and encouragement of many other people. I would like to recognize those people in this blog.

First of all, my amazing wife Lori: if not for her encouragement and sacrifice, I could never have made it.  When I started training in March of 2004, our son Noah had just turned one. Ironically, sometime in September of 2004 (marathon was in December), God decided to bless us with Sarah (she was born in June of 2005; you do the math).

Chronologically, I need to go back a bit to thank Scott M. (not me) and Brian H. (I’m using initials for privacy) for asking me if I would be interested in joining them in training for the Chicago Marathon (I ended up running Kiawah because it was closer, and it gave me longer to train).  I want to thank Scott for also jumping in as my pacer at mile 13 until somewhere around mile 23. We actually had a deal that he would pace me so I could break 4 hours at Kiawah, then I would pace him so he could break 4 hours at Myrtle Beach (the Feb 2005 race). Unfortunately Scott got injured before I could return the favor.  Scott and his wife Grace, along with Brian, his wife Kim, and Jimmy P. and his wife Davii, all gave up a weekend to drive down to Kiawah to see me run 26.2 miles (with Scott’s help).  How awesome is that?!? Thanks guys!!

I also want to thank my father-in-law, Creig for choosing to take on this challenge with me.  There was many a Saturday morning that I did NOT want to get up at 5:30 am to drive to Riverfront Park to run some crazy long distance, but knowing he was there counting on me made it possible.

Bottom line: whether it’s a marathon or something else similarly challenging, we need to recognize those around us who make it possible, and also recognize that without their influence, encouragement, and sacrifice, we could NEVER have accomplished our chosen goal.

For those who just realized I didn’t mention God, Marathon (part 2) will remedy that.