Governor’s Midnight Run

I’ve had so many positive responses to the marathon postings that I decided to post one more. You folks who responded were mighty positive and encouraging, and I appreciate that; it makes me want to keep on keeping on. Tonight I thought I’d share two things, one about how I got started in the running craze back in the 1980s and the other about the motive behind marathoning.

My first husband and my two brothers used to run in races all over the state of SC “back in the day,” and my daughters and I would usually follow them around like groupies. One day as we were waiting for the men to come across the finish line, I noticed this older lady as she rounded the corner and ran towards us. She was wearing some of the shortest shorts I’d ever seen with panty hose, and her hair was teased, sprayed, and perfectly in place. Feeling something between astonishment and awe, I began talking with her, and she announced that she was 57 years old and that her husband and two daughters were somewhere behind her! She beat them all. I decided then and there that if she could do it, so could I. We went shopping for my first pair of running shoes that afternoon, and they were hideous but comfortable…orange with yellow trim.

Years passed, and one day my oldest child came home from college and announced that she and Michelle, a friend of hers, were going to participate in a marathon in Alaska. “Yeah, right,” I thought. She went on to tell me that several Coastal Carolina students were going to raise money for the Leukemia Society through an organization called “Team in Training.” She had my attention, and Carrie, Michelle, and I joined about 45 or 50 other people from the Myrtle Beach area in raising over $3,000 each for leukemia research, a feat that culminated in flying to Anchorage for the Governor’s Midnight Run on June 21, 1996. Bake sales, yard sales, raffles, car washes, and donations from friends are some of the ways we raised the money.

The marathon was phenomenal, and maybe I’ll write about that later. For tonight, I want to share the most motivating statement I picked up during our training. One of the trainers from another town joined our group one night and shared her experience in Alaska the preceding summer. She spoke of the blisters, shin splints, and overall weariness and also of the exhilarating feeling of turning a corner and realizing she had accomplished her goal. Here’s what got to me though. It fact, it still does. She said (I’m paraphrasing a bit), “You’ll feel tired and weak all over. Your feet will hurt, your legs will ache, and your lower back might even feel weird. But you know what? After a warm bath and a good night’s rest you’ll be as good as new. Your patients, however, the ones you’re raising money for, won’t be so lucky.”

The upshot of the above two stories is that I get out and get moving (although much slower) because I still can.  I do it for those who can’t. I do it in memory of those whose hospital bracelets Carrie and I wore that day in Anchorage, Carrie for her granny (my mother) and me for my friend Linda, both of whom lost their battles with cancer.

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

12 thoughts on “Governor’s Midnight Run”

  1. Jayne,
    Is this a nationwide organization? Just curious because an acquaintance from back home lost her husband to Leukemia, and I happen to know she was running the ogden marathon at the time he passed away. What a touching thing.

    My little sis runs. I admire her. My knees are funky and so I choose to bike and swim instead… and hopefully will be starting that up again after my dr checkup after having baby in a week or so.

  2. Yes it is. I don’t run anymore either, but I do manage to walk on almost a daily basis. The “experts” say that moderate exercise for 30 minutes five days a week is a pretty good goal to shoot for, and although I consistently do a little more than that, I’m always (and I do mean ALWAYS) encouraging others to do it.Hmmm, maybe I’ll blog something about that later.

    I’d really like to do another “Team in Training” marathon, but I don’t have the time or commitment right now to raise so much money. Still, when I see someone with the purple and green Team in Training logo, it tugs at my heart, and although I’m not an “official” t in t, I still try to “go the distance” in honor of those like my mother and my friend Linda.

    On a personal note, I hope your little boy is a good baby who lets his mom sleep at night.

  3. Jayne,
    As usual you are an inspiration! Just when I thought we had talked about everything I find out something new in cyberspace (LOL) What a great post! Running at this point is not an option but I can walk! I have been giving a great deal of thought about acts of service on a “global” level.
    I have no problem serving friends, family and those that are local but always feel there is something more I can do in a bigger way.

  4. Connie and Janet, You ladies are too kind and are giving me more credit than I deserve. Connie, you are ALWAYS doing something for others; I’m the one who comes up short in those areas.

  5. Love this story… I have always loved stories about people who inspire and motivate others. As a matter of fact, if I can figure out how to post another subject on my blog–it will be about people who inspire us … like my Grandmother inspired me. Quite a very independent lady ahead of her time (born in 1898). Admired her pioneer spirit. She was a public health nurse for years and had delightful stories to tell about her experiences with patients. Thanks Jayne.

  6. Hayden, Ha Ha. Very funny. I will never beat either of them. My goal is to stop and smell the roses and savor every moment of the experience, and their goal is to beat each other even if they have heart attacks trying to do so.

  7. Hey gal…just dropping by to say hello! But I’m totally intrigued by the marathon runner in you, I just want to like to exercise like I did back in the day. I use to get up and walk every morning with my mom and aunt, I miss the little chats we would have on our treks. This is just a good excuse for me to call them up and get started again! Thanks.

  8. Cowgal, I’m not a marathon runner so don’t get too intrigued. At one time “back in the day” I might have been a jogger, but now I’m a walker who gets fired up every little while and will jog a few paces. My former mother-in-law who used to work for an ob-gyn warned me of the things that could happen to a woman’s “innards” when she jogged and jostled everything around. Kind of scary.

  9. Pingback: runners shoes

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