Monday, January 6, 2014

Susan and Ron's Top Ten Marathoning for Life Memories of 2013

2013 was our 8th year on the circuit. Every year seems to bring us new perspectives and powerful new memories. I know a lot of people who race 10, 20 or 50+ times/year so a race by race review can get really busy. If you have a top 5 or top 10 blog, let us know. We'd love to see it!  

With that, our 10 most significant events of 2013:

10. Boston Marathon Bombings – Senseless acts of hatred that brought the marathoning community even closer together than ever before uniting us with a common goal – Boston Strong, Runners Strong, the World Unites because good will always overcome evil.  

9. RnR Brooklyn 10k – Seeing the Statue of Liberty from the train after Susan completed her first race on her own without Ron. Sensing a new found freedom of never being alone when you’re surrounded by fellow race participants. Having an acquaintance, George Melichar, become an even better friend and being adopted by his friends and their two dogs before and after the race.

8. American River Half Marathon – Having the honor of getting photos taken with overall winner Nicki (1st), Joe (2nd), Ron (3rd), and Susan (8th) as four age group winners in the walk division. The first age group win for Susan and Ron's second.

7. RnR St. Louis Half Marathon – Starting the race with frozen toes and a spectacular sunrise behind the St Louis Gateway Arch. Seeing our maid of honor, Jennifer (in a boot), cheering us on at the finish line discovering how much fun it is to be a Rock ‘n’ Roll groupie. Ron completing his 50th half marathon. Finishing the day together in Busch stadium seeing Ron's team, the Red Sox, win game 4 of the World Series.

6. RnR Cleveland Half Marathon Expo – Exiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Kevin into a driving rainstorm. Susan screaming when lightning struck just before our feet. Running to nearby bus stop when thunder roared through the town immediately thereafter. Shuddering to realize that Susan's race shoes for the next day were now soaking wet.

Cleveland RnR Half Marathon – Overwhelmed by the crowd support for Susan's 50th half marathon with a multitude of congratulations that carried her through the course to another personal best time.

5. One good deed leads to another and another – Thank you TNT for having great people like Victoria sign up for our marathon walk team. Thank you Victoria for remembering us and introducing us to your colleague Erin. Thank you Erin for seeking us out and giving endurance walking broader exposure via the San Francisco Chronicle. Thank you Lisa for noticing the online SF Gate article and in turn interviewing us for the November issue of Runner's World on how to complete your first half or full marathon relaxed. In parallel, thank you Competitor Group for inviting us to speak at the Portland RnR Expo and inspiring us to launch the Marathoning for Life blog and Facebook page so that we can in turn inspire a whole new generation of endurance athletes.

4. Nike Women’s Full Marathon – Spending an entire season with the TNT San Francisco Bay Area walk coaches being convinced that Sue was not training fast enough to complete the full marathon without being turned early. Hearing that Sue had successfully gotten past all of the cut off points for the full marathon. Susan catching up to her at mile 22 and walking with her honored hero for the next three miles. Witnessing her determination to finish and finish strong and realizing that everyone deserves to have a dream come true especially when they believe in themselves even if others don’t believe in them.

3. RnR Chicago Half Marathon – Recognizing Beth’s Get Back UP sign. Susan introducing herself to Barbie and Rick. Having tears well up in her eyes hearing Barbie’s life story and how she overcame the disability of a paralyzed foot with the Allied brace. Becoming determined to help her beat the cut off times this year while witnessing Rick successfully complete his first half marathon (without training but with a lot of determination to be there with Barbie at the finish line). Susan is not sure she can live up to her nickname, Angel, but she is convinced there was a Heaven on Earth that day for all three of us.

2. Passings: Women’s Half Marathon/Eye-Q Twin Cities Half Marathon Nov. 7, 2010 – Receiving the news on the race course that their dear friend Michelle passed away that morning from Ovarian cancer leaving behind a loving husband Rob and two twin daughters Rebecca and Sarah. 2013 – Losing our TNT honorees Remo, Justin and DeMaris. With every life lost, growing in gratitude for each moment yet to come. Relying on the strength and words of wisdom that Coach Al gives all his TNT participants closing with Shout Outs and “Too many damn names” of our loved ones who we’ve lost to cancer and who continue their fight each and every day. It is an honor to walk in memory of those who have touched our lives and inspired us to live life to the fullest.

1. SA2LV RnR San Antonio and RnR Las Vegas Back-to-Back Half Marathons – Realizing that completing two half marathons on the same day in two different states was just a means to an end. Sharing an amazing once in a lifetime experience with Al, Caryn, Beth, Jim, and Kamika that will never be forgotten.

2013 was a memorable year . Wishing you many safe and healthy miles ahead in 2014.


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