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USAF does an outstanding job!

Monday, September 17, 2012

This past weekend, 15,000 runners and walkers met in Dayton Ohio at the Wright-Patterson AFB for their annual marathon/half-marathon and 10K. What an experience!! There was a fly over by the Spirt of Ohio B2, and people jumping out of planes w/US flags who landed right at the start line. AWESOME!! The man who heads this, along with over 2000 volunteers did a fabulous job. I'm sure there were some "behind the scene" glitches, but all in all it was extremely well done. Along the race route, the different groups dressed up in costume, played music or simply cheered us on to victory. One group handed out cold, wet sponges which were a welcome relief to all us us believe me. There were people along the route who stood outside their homes, or at the street corners, to cheer for us and give us much needed encouragement. We applaude each and everyone of them with grateful hearts.

It was inspiring to meet new people and hear why they were there (supporting someone, running for a cure, or simply just to experience the event). During the race, people you didn't even know, gave you moral support when they saw you were struggling a bit and helped you make it to that finish line. There were young, old, big and small people from every state and I believe 15 countries. There were people there called "stars" who wore and different bib from the rest of us with a notation of just how many of these races (USAF marathons) they have done. What an inspiration! Some of those older people blew me away - I don't know how old the oldest was, but NONE of them quit. The AF give 7 hours to complete the full and 6 to complete the half, but people stayed right there until the last runner/walker crossed over the line. At the finish line there were tears of joy, fatigue and disbelief. One woman broke down just as she and her friend crossed the line and was heard to say "I never thought I could do it" - she was bald (wearing a baseball cap) so I imagine she could have been a cancer patient. What an example of inner drive and the friend stayed by her the entire time. We met a young man who was there primarily to help his friend qualify to run the Boston Marathon next year. The stories go on and on - it was amazing.

Our story is a simple one really. This was John's first HM, and he says his last, and my 3rd, and probably my last as well. I know it is something I can do now, but honestly it is not something I whole-heartedly enjoy. I like the events and the people, but not the toll it takes on my body. We are not runners, but we like to be healthy so we may just stick to the 5K races with maybe a 10K thrown in from time to time.

You may wonder how we made out? Well, this is tough to believe, but we finished just 27 SECONDS apart, but never saw each other at the finish line. I finished in 3:11:07 and he came across in 3:11:34 (those are chip times) that put us in the top 1/3 of the group as I was 4593 over-all and he was 4607 - only 14 people crossed the finish line between us. Imagine that!!

I know there were some spark people there but I didn't get to see too many of them - to WonderWoman, I saw your cheering section but didn't get to meet you for which I am sorry. It was great to see Tom McCourtt, Bill Axel and Renee though. Any yes, I did have my JASR SP patch pinned to the back of my shirt and there were some people who asked what it was for...some guy would say "there goes snowflake again" as we passed each other. LOL

All in all, it was a great time and I am glad we had to opportunity to be a part of it. Keep your self in the game everyone - no matter how old you are, or where you are in your health journey - stay active and strive to push your limits outside that comfort zone at least once in a while.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • GIANNA345
    Good blog! Glad you did it, and wrote about it. You're an inspiration.
    2835 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    Great race report. So glad you had a good time--it's not about the medals and ribbons, it's about the fun and friends. This HM is on my wish list--my sister lives in Dayton.

    emoticon ,


    2842 days ago
    Amazing and since I'm sidelined right now...just what I needed to keep me thinking healthy "I will get healthy feet again and run...I will"
    2845 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12068091
    emoticon I would love to be able to run a HM but I am still maxing out at the 5K. I can walk till the cows come home but running is another story.

    I just saw that my subscription to your blog wasn't working. I hate when that happens but I am signed back up so I can keep in better touch. emoticon
    2847 days ago
    What a great blog of tribute to others. You two are among the amazing. I was keeping an eye out for you, but realized early on it wasn't likely we'd meet up - yet hoping for a fluke. Maybe our paths will cross sometime. It truly was a great experience.
    2850 days ago
  • no profile photo CD557571
    What a great tribute to your run this past weekend Bev. Congratulations to you both on completing the half distance. And that is amazing that you were so close to each other without running together.
    2851 days ago
    I was working the water station near the end, before you got back onto base, approx. 3 miles out. I had to sell my half bib due to hip replacement 9 weeks ago and didn't recognize a lot of you coming through! I did get to walk the 5K the night before.

    Of the group I was working with, I was the last one on your left side handing out gatorade and the loud one with the neon yellow headband, lol.

    Congrats to the two of you and I hope you make it to the 10K next year!
    2851 days ago
  • no profile photo CD318156
    AWW Bev what an AWESOME blog and an AH-MAZING experience for you and John! I am so proud of you both! Until we meet again...

    MANY HUGS!!!
    2851 days ago
    Way to go!!!
    2851 days ago
  • LAURIE5658
    I was there running the full and I loved it...hills and all. See you perhaps in 2013 and congratulations on a tremendous finish!
    2851 days ago
  • BOBBYD31
    i am inspired and proud of you two at the same time, you kids are truly amazing. there is no need to continue to do the HM distance if it is not making you happy, do the 5k and 10k distance since that is where your happy place is.
    you are a true inspiration for so many sparkers out here keep it up and i am so glad you shared your blog with us
    2851 days ago
    Way to go Bev! You and John are such an inspiration! Great times also! You both rock and the fact that you are constantly encouraging everyone to get out there and move is so great!
    Hugs my friend to both of you!
    2851 days ago
    How awesome! emoticon emoticon
    2851 days ago
    I ABSOLUTELY Love your blog, that is the Best description of the AFM. I hope if your not doing 1/2s you'll come back for the 10K next year. (Well I'm already planning on doing JASR next year.

    AND a BIG emoticon on doing the marathon! you are now AFM aluma/alumnus


    2851 days ago
  • KITT52
    2851 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1425027
    I too had a blast and really enjoyed this course! Congrats!!!!
    2851 days ago
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