Monday, October 08, 2007

CHICAGO MARATHON: A DANGEROUS AND MONUMENTAL ACCOMPLISHMENT

I have a very good friend,38 years old, professional, charming, talented and decent. Lives in another state but with strong ties to Quincy.

Truth be told, the last five years of his life have been cruel. His response? He decided to dedicate himself to running the Chicago Marathon. This was an interesting decision because he had no history as a distance runner or a road racer.

He read. He trained. He told his friends and associates his plan was to run the Chicago Marathon.

Of course, by now, we know the Chicago Marathon was a death trap for even experienced runners. For those who couldn't get the half way point by noon, the course was closed. The heat was just too dangerous. One guy died. 10,000 registrants didn't show. 1500 required treatment, and 275 were hospitalized.

My friend made it. He ran about nine minute miles steady through the first 20 miles, then faded a little, but he made it.

This is an admirable guy and a good friend but I'll never look at him quite the same way again. He did something through the strength of his will and determination I could never have done at any age. I understand distance runners who have the gift. I can't imagine a mature adult picking it up in less than a year sufficient to complete the Chicago Marathon in killer temps.

Way to go, Buddy!

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