Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Erie (Half) Marathon at Presque Isle

This Sunday I completed my third half marathon during the Erie Marathon at Presque Isle.  The weather was perfect! Not hot or humid, just crisp fall air on a flat course.  I'm sure a lot of people went home with a new PR- I'm happy to say that I did!

We also went home with a bag, long sleeve t-shirt, a beautiful medal and my favorite- these awesome socks!
They say "Erie Marathon @ Presque Isle" around the ankles!

But, the morning was special to me for another reason.

Around mile 10 I happened upon a kid running wild!

 OK she's not a kid anymore, she's a lovely young woman.  But, when I first met Danielle she was a kid.  Since our first meeting she has spent many seasons pitching on the softball field including a stint as a collegiate pitcher.  I can remember stopping at her house and hearing Danielle asking her dad, "come outside and catch for me?".  What if he had said no? What if he was too busy or too wrapped up in his own hobbies to catch a ball for the little pitcher?

Her softball days might be behind her, but Danielle's athletic endeavors continue.  She finished her first half marathon in honor of her Mom (my friend, Sue) and her battle with ovarian cancer.

I ran beside Danielle from mile 10 to the end.  We talked about her student teaching assignment and the crazy things 8th graders say.  We covered common ground- we both share a love of music.  We also talked about the socks.  Did I mention that we love the socks?

We didn't dwell on our fatigue- we just kept running side by side.  We even posed for a picture together  at the finish line and I got a great hug before parting.

Minutes later I would collect hugs from my own little runners.  I watched other moms & dads getting hugs from their kids and wondered what impact that finish line was making- is there a future marathon winner among us? Is he or she getting excited right now to start running?

Andrew Holland won the marathon.  When he was interviewed by the Erie Times News he said, "My dad (attorney Dave Holland) got me started back when I was 9 or 10, and I ran cross country in grade school and high school,'' Holland said. "My older brother Dave also ran, so I tagged along with him. It all started from there.''


Are you running this weekend?
Will your kids watch you cross the finish line?

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