Sunday, May 18, 2014

BRM 5x

Better late than never, so here goes:  On April 26, 2014, the fifth annual Blue Ridge Marathon was held.  And on that same day, April 26, 2014, I (Mr. Marathon) ran the Blue Ridge Marathon for the fifth time.  What a coincidence, right?!  Anyway, three weeks later I am finally getting to this.  This particular marathon is my favorite marathon to date.  Between the volunteers, the atmosphere, and cheerful spectators, this tough course has its soft spots.  Even though this race has won the title of "America's Toughest Road Marathon" with me, it has won the title of "America's Funnest AND Friendliest (sorry Richmond) Road Marathon".  Every year I meet new runners along the way and yet every year, they continue to motivate and inspire me to keep running this race.  Friends and family continue to tell me how crazy I am to continue running this race over and over again, which also inspires me to keep doing it.  But considering that America's Toughest Road Marathon was accidentally my first marathon, it's really hard for me to say that it's "hard."  It's all I knew for a while.  For a year, I believed that this is it.... this is my last marathon.  Marathon running felt way to hard, until word came out that indeed, it was AMERICA'S TOUGHEST.....and I was like "Oh, that's lovely!"  Yet I found it unbelievable that it was essentially in our backyard!  Ok, well 45 minutes north of our backyard, but still.  It's really close by!

5 pairs of shoes, 5 finisher medals, 5 times run, 1 marathon

Mr. Marathon and BRF starting the race
This year, as we left our house and arrived at the race site, my first race was to the port-a-potties, just like every year.  With plenty of time to spare, the full marathon, half marathon, and 10K runners all lined up to start together.  I started near the middle of the pack and walked all the way to the start line as people were flying by me (and I was laughing to myself.... they gon' learn today!).  As soon as I passed the start line, that's when my race truly started.  I couldn't believe it.... this was my 5th time running this.  I couldn't believe I had been running this long.  And to think, this started as a (not so) happy accident.  I ran at a steady pace, smiling, carrying on, and enjoying nature's beauty.  As I saw runners run past me or me running past them on turnarounds, I couldn't help but to give them a thumbs-up or a "Good job!" or a "Keep it up!".  And seeing them smile just kept me motivated to keep on trucking!  Staying motivated is the key for any marathon, but especially this one.  I really wanted to do better than I did last year, or at least around the same, and I was on track to doing right around the same as last year's PR, but there's always an excuse, it seems.  This year's excuse was a full marathon 2 weeks before.  It messed up my left knee and left it achy.  But anyway, I wasn't gonna let that stop me.  There was no way I was gonna start this race and not finish it.  I wouldn't care if I had to finish on crutches.  I would finish, because that just how determined I am, about this particular race, at least.  This determination came in place around mile 19.  My knee and my back started aching and I started slowing down and running out of energy.  It seemed like the next few following hills after that were just as bad as any mountain in the beginning.  But this did not deter me from enjoying the race.  This race is one that I can truly enjoy, no matter what the circumstances are throughout it.  It's truly the people around it and in it that make a race an incredible experience.  I walked on and off from mile 22-25, and after these two miles I was determined once I saw the mile marker for mile 25 to run the final mile and give it all I had!  I had an extra boost in motivation around the last 0.4 miles after seeing my friend's dad gaining on me.  I decided I had to step it up.  And I did, all the way across the finish line!
Coming down the finishing chute

Mr. Marathon, about to tackle the infamous Peakwood hill at mile 17
(aka "Pukewood")
Mr. Marathon's cool-down ritual....
dumping water on his head

It was Mr. Marathon's 5th time running this race!

As I got my finisher medal, reality came crashing down onto me, making that moment as real as it gets.  I may not run very fast, but I am completely determined to run faster.  Because thanks to the races I have run, the people that I have met, and the medals I have earned, I am a marathoner.  And I will continue to run marathons as long as my health allows me to do so.

Finish line

Yeah, we're cute!
Oh, and just to let you know... I'm already signed up for next year: 2015!  Crazy? Yeah.  Dumb?  Probably.  Awesome?  DEFINITELY!


  1. Love the Mr and Mrs tanks!!! Great job on your race, congratulations on an awesome finish!!!

    1. Thank you so much! Also, thanks for checking out our blog! :)

      -- Mr. and Mrs. Marathon