Goodbye Lewis & Clark

Dear Lewis and Clark, It’s the eve of your final race, so I’m sure you’re busy with last minute details, but I wanted to let you know I’m thinking about you even though I won’t be there tomorrow. You probably don’t remember me telling you this when I picked up my race packet in ‘06, but you were my first half marathon. You see, I’d done 5k and 10k’s before, but I always left the big ones for the elite athletes. They were real runners, and I was just a 5k kinda girl. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for making me feel like an important part of your event. You referred to me as a half marathoner when I came into your store, even when I mentioned I probably couldn’t run the whole thing. And you talked to me like I had potential, and you gave me permission to be a giddy 47 year old newbie.

The final mile is etched in my brain (and framed on my desk of course). I wanted to walk that nasty little hill at mile 12 - by the way, who puts a hill one mile before the finish line? - but I couldn’t because your race volunteers yelled “You can do it!” and they knew more about running than me, right?

I put my head down (bad idea noted) so I didn’t have to see how far it was to the top. I saw the guys handing out beer and I thought about throwing up and I thought about the finish line and then the hill was done.

I think I put my arms up in the air like a Gold medalist as I crossed the finish line, although my photo doesn’t remember it that way. Maybe I was sweating, maybe I was crying, but I was definitely an elitist half marathon runner in that single moment.

Thanks for your warm spirit and mostly flat course. And best wishes for a strong final run tomorrow.

Lisa, half marathoner