One year ago today, I set my PR at the Columbus Marathon. This was one awesome experience for me as I came back to run a big race in my home town. My girls, Deb and Amy, were with me. My Sister-in-law, Karen, was with them to cheer me on. I got to meet my Dailymile friend, Tony Brake and his wife Sherry. The big part was actually having my mom, dad and sister there to cheer me on as well. This was not my first marathon but, the first one they were able to see me run.
Since mom was in her motorized wheel chair, I thought it best they not come to the starting area. She would have issues getting through the 20,000 plus runners and spectators there. In fact, I thought it best that they wait forme at Schiller Park. This was a couple miles from their house and made it easier to navigate. As I made my way into Schiller Park, I didn't see them right away. Then, as I was coming up on an aid station, I saw my sister. I was almost in her face before she saw me. She had water in one hand, her phone in the other. She yelled, "There he is!" I gave her a sweaty hug. Then I saw dad hanging onto a pole and he high fived me. Then, there was mom. She didn't see me until I was in her face, hugging her. She almost fell out of her chair from surprise. I handed her my sweaty gloves, told her to hold onto them, and ran off, leaving her with a sweaty hug, gloves and a smile.
After the race, I went back to my sister-in-law's house to get cleaned up and rest. For dinner, the girls and I met up with my family at our favorite pizza place, Rubinos, in Bexley. Mom couldn't stop bragging about my race. You'd think I won the marathon. Far from it but, she was proud. Who knew this would be the last time my parents would see me race. My mom's health deteriorated to the point we lost her almost four months later. Dad went six months after mom. I will never forget th look of pride in my parents eyes after that race. That will always hold a special place in my heart. As I run each race, I dedicate them to my mom and dad, in hopes that I can continue to make them proud.