After a thorough soaking Friday and Saturday the clouds parted in Southern California making Sunday a beautiful day. This was good, as I was at the starting line preparing to run my second marathon on Sunday in Huntington Beach as the sun rose.
Mindful of the lessons I learned at the OC Marathon last year, I kept the pace easy and had really consistent splits up until mile 21 when I started to fade. I had one long walking stint at mile 23 and then summoned enough will to power through the last few miles.
A few notable moments:
Around mile 6 I caught up with George Border, an 81 year old running his 40th marathon. He was all smiles and playfully “conducting” one of the bands in HB Central Park.
At mile 15 a boy and his mother were cheering from the median in the road. The boy, no older than 5, had his hand out for a high five but no one was taking him up on the offer. I sprinted across the street and gave him a hoot and a quick slap on the hand. The glee on his face gave me an instant adrenaline rush. It was great!
Around mile 20 I crossed paths with Barefoot Ken Bob, who was prominent in “Born to Run”. He was walking with another runner so I slowed down, said hello and then went back on my way. I spotted two other barefoot runners during the race along with one prosthetic limb. Talk about inspiration!
My family were near the finish line, cheering and holding up signs the kids had made for me that morning. Nothing could have made me happier than seeing them and I crossed the finish line right near my goal time with a smile on my face.