Marathon Memories

I’m busy up to my eyeballs, and yet I just spent 45 minutes teaching a colleague how to start her own blog so how can I not spend just a few minutes adding a little update to my own blog? There’s a ton (really) of stuff I could share, but I think the most significant item is the big weekend event: the Myrtle Beach Marathon and Half Marathon.

 As in years past, thousands of participants converged at the intersection of Robert Grissom Parkway and 21st Avenue in the predawn darkness to stretch, chat, drink water, and ponder what was ahead. As I looked around at some of my compatriots, I couldn’t help but wonder if they were thinking about their race strategies, their shin splints, last year’s time, or even the huge breakfast they planned to consume after the crossed the finish line.  

Shortly after listening to the National Anthem, the starting gun fired, and the front runners were off. Those like yours truly in the back of the pack didn’t move for several seconds, and then we began inching our way forward in fits and starts. Even though I was not prepared for it, I had to jog the first three miles or get left behind, but after that I switched back and forth between a fast walk and intermittent jogging. As in the past, the absolute best part was the several miles down Ocean Boulevard. Why? Because the sights and sounds are spectacular, and you’re still strong enough to enjoy them.

Nearly a week later, I’m still thankful for the young African American woman who sang aloud to the tunes on her Ipod; she pepped me up. I’m also grateful for the hundreds of volunteers and onlookers for their support and offers of refreshment. The cheering section outside of Starbucks was especially encouraging. And the cowbells…we liked them too. About the refreshment angle, nothing beats the taste of cold, clean refreshing water when you’re thirsty…nothing. (I also like the sound of the paper cup plunk when it hits the pavement). Special thanks go to the MB Police Department, the Red Cross, and the race organizers for jobs well done.

The only complaint I have about the entire weekend was the $5 that the manager at Captain D’s tried to charge my sister-in-law for parking in the parking lot at 8:00 in the morning. It’s not like too many patrons were going to be eating shrimp for breakfast, so we figured the motive had to be pure unadulterated greed. All she wanted to do was find a vantage point to spot her husband and support the other thousands of walkers, joggers, and runners. Shame on Captain D’s. 

Naturally, all was not perfect. I had my challenges along the way, especially with new shoes and old socks. After stopping and readjusting the socks several times, I finally took the left sock off and sort of jog/limped in. Oh, and I had a bad cold (still do) and had experienced a long night of insomnia. Still, I finished in a reasonable amount of time and was happy to do so. Anyone who feels like whining during an event such as this only has to be passed by a wheelchair racer one time to feel much better about her painful feet.

I’m wondering about all of the participants who ran beside, in front of, and behind me. Are they, like me, planning to give it another shot next year? And what about those of you who’ve never done something like this but might want to? If I can do, anyone can.

Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

18 thoughts on “Marathon Memories”

  1. Way to go Jayne! I can’t even think of running anywhere without laughing myself into the ground. Me? Running? Only from a house fire with the kiddies. I was wondering how it went. Have a lovely rest of the week.

  2. Way to GO ! Someday I would like to do that race. I would be happy just to do a 5k. I was thinking about doing on in May. But I guess I had better get my racing shoes on. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Hooray! I am very proud of you! It takes guts to run in a race with professional marathoners! I dont think I would ever attempt it!

  4. Kristi, HaHa. I’m sure you could do it, but as slim and trim and calm as you are, you don’t seem to really need exercise for “body and soul” the way I do. I like the image of you and the kiddies running along…just not from a house fire.

  5. Laresa, what about the Bridge Run in Charleston on April 5th? I’m suggesting that one because it’s so much fun and because you can either walk or jog…or run if you’re fast enough to be in the very front. It’s such an “event” in my family that it’s been on my calendar for 25 years or more. You can register online RIGHT NOW.

  6. Michelle, one of the great things about “happenings” like this is that no one makes fun of others no matter how slow or pitiful you are. In fact, as we were walking back to the parking lot at Broadway at the Beach afterwards, I heard these people talking about how they were going to do better next year, and I asked how they had done. They all finished about 45 minutes before I did, and when I told them how awesome their times were compared to mine, they all assured me that finishing was what counted, not how long it took.

  7. Hi Jayne… must be wonderful to be in that great physical shape to be a runner… I admire your zest for life and especially your kindess in helping others. “By their fruits…you shall know them.” Keep up the good runs and the good works–thanks for taking the time to care and coach. Your students are very lucky.

  8. Sounds like you had a great time and did it for a good cause too. I used to participate in a number of marathons, but have not done so in recent years. I may give it another try, if my current shape holds.

  9. Sounds so fun — maybe I need to set a new goal and add it to my “bucket list”! Thank you for your inspiration – you are amazing!

  10. Hayden & Connie, Yay for the cowbells! The Sun News had a great picture in Sunday’s newspaper of an elderly woman in a wheelchair who was ringing a cowbell and talking with a marathoner who stopped to thank her for her support.

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