Finally had some time post a few photos from the St Louis Marathon. Enjoy!
Here is a shot my brother-in-law took of me near mile 22. I was still feeling pretty good at this point, was just gettins set to turn to my right and head back downtown. It was sure wonderful to see a familiar face and let him know I was feeling good and was pretty confident I was going to finish. He promptly called my wife, (his sister) and let her know I was not laying in a ditch somewhere. She was grateful.
I also experimented in this race by putting my name in big letters on the front of my shirt. What fun!! I got a lot of encouraging comments. As hokie as it sounds, it was a real boost to have a steady stream of "Way to go, Joe!" all the way along. Now, the brothers from Pi Kappa Alpha at one of the local universities were a little too well lubricated for that early on a Sunday morning and they were over the top...but the rest were great. I'll wear it again.
Meet Nichole. We ran the first half of the marathon together. She was a delightful third-year nursing student who was running her first marathon. She has a great future in pediatrics. Her ability to speak comfortably with people and put them at ease will be a wonderful gift to sick kids and their parents for years to come. She even tolerated running with a guy that she realized was plenty old enough to be her father...thanks Nichole for humoring me!!
About a week after the race, I received the nicest greeting card from her in the mail. She had tracked down my snail-mail address and wrote to thank me for encouraging her though the first 13 miles! She then battled some side stitches and all the fatigue associated with 26.2. But she persevred and this is her at the finish! Way to go Nichole!!
Here I am just yards from the finish. By this point, I had the biggest, cheesiest grin on my face, despite how tired my legs were. It hit me that I was done, I was a marathoner again. I couldn't quit smiling...even if I was two full hours behind the winner...who cares??
No it doesn't look like I'm running....but I was, honest...bummer of timing on the shutter though...the guy behind me has HIS feet off the ground...maybe next time....
And it's official. Crossing the mats, hand on watch.
What fun. And worth persevering for.