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Archive for Marathon

once in a lifetime

< by Mark, Jill‘s dad and running buddy >

In the fall of 2010, Jill and I ran the Twin Cities Marathon and something special happened that day: We both qualified to enter the Boston Marathon in 2011.

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, at least in my case.

For marathoners, Boston is “it.” If you qualify, you enter. Entry forms were filled out and submitted. Confirmation cards were received shortly thereafter and posted prominently on our respective refrigerators — mine in Minnesota, Jill’s in Chicago.

After the high of signing up for any marathon wears off, you wake up to having to train for this decision. Sixteen weeks and roughly 300 miles of running to be adequately prepared for 26.2 miles. Who’s idea was this?! Boston is run mid-April so training starts mid-December. Who’s idea was this?!

My training partner is in Chicago so our runs are done alone and outside in the darkness of winter or the monotony of the gym treadmills.

Jill was coming into Minnesota in late February for the weekend so we made a plan for a 22-mile weekend training run. Our staring point was downtown Minneapolis, Saturday morning 6 a.m. after riding the overnight Megabus from Chicago.

Waiting in the dark parking lot for the bus to arrive, the temperature was 10 degrees and my wife was once again questioning my sanity and the safety of our daughter.

I assured her we would be fine and that criminals typically prefer warmer weather.

Jill arrived and our adventure began. We ran through the dark, hurdled snow banks, felt our cheeks burn. Breaths exited in clouds and soon we were warm watching the dark turn to light as we ran.

Our destination this day was home, 22 miles from our start and at the end of a once in a lifetime event.

We ran Boston too …