Run #50 in 2013, (DC and 49 states),
Sunday, October 13, 8:00 a.m.
The 18th annual Steamtown Marathon,
I did it!
They were closed and packing up, but since I came all the way from Texas, these two Steamtown volunteers found my running bib and packet for me.
Well, running marathons is the result of a confluence of 3 things that happened back in January.
1) For my 2013 50-state goal, I wanted to complete runs in both Mississippi and Alabama on the same weekend last January.I signed up for a Saturday 5K in Biloxi, but to run on Sunday in Alabama, the only available race was a half marathon in Gulf Shores. (Not many races on Sundays in the South). Although I had never run more than 7 miles, I signed up, ran and finished the half (2:08:19), but it was extremely, extremely painful, and I thought, "Not going to do this again. I will stick to 5Ks."
2) However running a half piqued my interest in qualifying times for the Boston Marathon. Turns out that for the 2015 BM, my qualifying time, when I will be 65, is 4 hours and 10 minutes, and a person 64 like me can try to qualify for the 2015 BM from about October, 2013, to September, 2014.
3) I discovered the Jeff Galloway Run/Walk method for races. Panned by some, but it works for me. (I was fortunate to meet Jeff a couple of months ago in Anchorage where I ran a half marathon for my Alaska run). So I decided back in February to train and see what I could do, since running in the Boston Marathon would be something. Since I also prefer running downhill, I researched qualifying marathons with a sizeable elevation drop, and decided my first would be today's Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, PA.Steamtown starts at Forest City HS, in Forest City, Pennsylvania, and runners are bussed there from downtown Scranton (my bus left at 6:15 a.m.).
This is a well organized marathon, and when you get off the bus, student volunteers escort you to a warm room in the high school where you can rest until the 8:00 a.m. start.
.Four hours, thirty-one minutes, and 2 seconds later, I finished..
After some food and water, I took a few pics.
However the last 5K will include a blood match between me and my friend Gregg. Below, we are in Saint Louis two years ago for game 2 of the World Series.
Gregg started me running a few years ago after he suggested that my high cholesterol and I did not have much time left on earth.
He provided a 5-month couch to 5K program and a lot of encouragement.
Completed -- in blue. Texas is the remaining state -- December 23, 7:00 p.m., The Jingle Bell Run at the Anatole Hotel in Dallas