(Photo by Greta)
The thing is, when you finish a marathon, you get a giant silver medal with an eagle and like a globe and stuff being all hooray for you, and also America! Also? Maybe the coolest part? You get a space blanket. And a Marine gives both of those things to you. Which is pretty cool because Marines? Are fairly awesome. They’re also unfailingly polite and tireless because they worked all the water/Powerade stops along the way and always said “You’re welcome, Ma’am” when I thanked them for the water. Plus, I mean, they spent the entire day getting half-empty cups of Berry Blast Powerade tossed at them by sweaty and cranky runners. Those marines are no joke.
A bit sadistic, perhaps, as they put the last .2 miles of the course UP A HILL but at that point I was so over being in pain and being tired that I sprinted across the finish line, just to show them. Because if you think I wasn’t running across the finish line of the marathon, well, you just don’t know me at all.
And even if I’m walking like a zombie today and am seriously questioning the sanity of anyone who chooses to do this kind of thing, I wouldn’t change the experience for anything. Mostly because I raised a lot of money for a great cause that means a lot to me, and because I have the best, most supportive cheering section anyone could ask for. I mean, Harlan and Greta drew a sign with a picture of a shark chasing someone that said, “Run! Shark!” to inspire me. Perhaps you have to be me to know exactly how awesome that is, but it really was the best thing ever and even if it’s hard to run while you’re laughing, it sure helped. Not to mention my parents who provided me with champagne and a bathtub full of ice immediately following the race. Then there were my co-runners, Katherine, Kristin and Doug, all finishers and all total super stars. All people whom I could not have done this without. When we all retired to a nearby sports bar after the race to enjoy some previously-taboo alcoholic beverages and the restorative powers of buffalo wings, I couldn’t have asked for better company.
And finally, there were you guys, and all the incredibly generous donations you made to the Alzheimer’s Association. I am so proud and humbled to have such wonderful people supporting me. I initially did this as a way to honor my Memere but as I was running, I realized that I was also doing it for you guys, as a way to validate all your support. I can’t ever thank you enough. Also, even though I know Memere would be proud of me in that way that only bragging grandmothers can, she also would have asked me what was wrong with taking a car. So thank you guys, thank you for everything.
*with apologies to the Beastie Boys
(More pictures to come as they’re uploaded)