Memphis, TN 12/1/2012
Marathon Maniacs Qualifier Leg #2
Running on a fundraising team is an experience unlike any other. Over the course of the past 3 days I have had the opportunity to meet many children and families that seek help at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Thank you first and foremost to my donors. All of you are the reason that this weekend was possible.
I drove to Memphis Friday morning with my local training partner Robert Pittman. Once we in Memphis we met up with GoodGuys Ed Cooning & Alan Compton. At 10 am we toured the St. Jude hospital. It was great to learn about the history of St. Jude and all the things going on around the campus to improve the life of children across the planet as we walked the halls of the clinics and research labs. Following the tour we made our way to the expo for packet pickup where I “won” 50% registration costs for the Louisiana Half Marathon in Baton Rouge. Guess what I’m doing January 20!
Friday night we had dinner at the St. Jude Heroes Pasta Party. Over 7,000 Heroes filled the ballroom of the Cook Convention Center for an evening of honoring children, remembering children, being inspired by children, and carb loading. The food was fantastic and the atmosphere was astounding. Hearing stories and meeting families made this weekend truly memorable. Together through the St. Jude Heroes program runners and teams raised over $5.7 Million for the 2012 race! It was an astounding fundraising total that I am glad to have been lucky enough to be a part of.
Race day Saturday saw a later than normal wake up for two reasons. 1) The race starts wasn’t until 8am 2) out hotel was at the start line! We walked out of the room at 7:52, remind me to book a hotel at the start for every race I run please.
The race course was overall decent. Some long slow hills in the back half really burned up some energy that I could have used in the last 5k. Part of the race ran through the St. Jude campus, families and patients lines the streets as we ran by. A quick jaunt down legendary Beale St. & out to the Memphis Zoo. Crowd support was a little thin on the back half of the course at times, but I was told going in to expect that. The 4 of us ran in our Hero jerseys & it was a great boost of confidence hearing the shouts from the sidelines for the Hero passing by, thanking the Heroes, encouraging the Heroes. I struggled with cramps in my quads in the last mile which made for a rough final 10 minutes, but coming down the warning track at Autozone Park towards first base & getting my finisher’s medal made the battle worth the fight.
I crossed the finish line in 4:24:35.
Not a PR on the day, nor a PW. My goal was to get through the race and feel healthy enough to make it to Disney next month for the Goofy Challenge. That goal I accomplished. I am one step closer to Marathon Maniacs membership and still moving strong. Thank you staff & volunteers of the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend for an incredible weekend. Well done!