There are two milestones that are particularly noteworthy and thus receive top billing here:
First, AK, the aforementioned Ambassador, qualified for Boston this past weekend with a 3:44:52 at the Kiawah marathon. After months of dedicated training, she laid it down on Saturday and finished strong and steady. Congratulations, AK!
Second, Len ran his first marathon in Kiawah, finishing in 4:38:24. After also training for months, he successfully completed his first 26.2. Congratulations, Len!
I've been so choked up about these two and their accomplishments. Before Len even left for Kiawah I was all verklempt, getting teary when I thought about him running his first marathon, getting misty when I was sending him Rocky-like texts to get him psyched. And then when AK crossed the finish line, I had the good fortune to be on the phone with Heather as she cheered excitedly, watching AK run through the finisher's chute. Every time I think about her qualifying and reaching her goal so soundly, I start crying.
Also of note, Denise ran a solid half in Kiawah, coming in at 1:53:17, as did Scott, who set a PR of 1:24:47. And I got to see my old roommate Ashley buzz by at the Charlotte half on Saturday morning. If I weren't wearing clogs, jeans, and holding a child, I would have run with her for longer than the 10 feet I "sprinted" trying to keep up with her! And though I didn't see him, Billy M rocked a 1:45:35 half in Charlotte, which I'm pretty sure is a PR as well.
Not to get all "triumph of the human spirit" on you, but races and qualifying and first-time marathons and PR's are paramount to runners. Everything is relative and everyone is a winner here, and when you do something you set out to do, when you achieve a goal that you've worked so hard to achieve, it's a reminder to never quit, to keep putting yourself out there, to keep striving for excellence in whatever form that may take.
So congratulations on a great race weekend, runners, and thanks for the inspiration and motivation!