This weekend my parents and brother ran the St. George Marathon. Yes. 26.2 miles. While Eric is a veteran marathon runner, this was my parents' first. They are such an inspiration. It's amazing to think that when my mom first started running (~25? years ago) that it was a major accomplishment to make it 1 mile. After they ran their first half marathon, my mom didn't think they'd ever do something like that again. So instead they ran a full one! haha. They got the right gear, had a good training program, hit some bumps along the way, and kept on going all the way across the finish line. My mom finished in 5:05, and my dad, who had been nursing 2 sever injuries the last month and a half, finished in 5:58. His goal was to "stay ahead of the bus" and make it in under 6 hours, and with my awesome brother by his side every step of the way, he did it! They are such fighters and are absolutely amazing. I hope to be in as good of shape as them (and look as good) when I'm 60+! They knew my sister Julie was going to be there, but they didn't know her kids or my sister Amanda and her kids would be there as well.
My sister Amanda said it like this, "Yesterday my sister and I surprised my parents at mile 25.8 of the St. George marathon with our kids. Then we all ran with my mom as the kids cheered, "Go Grandma! Go Grandma!" Then my dad cam in an hour later determined to finish even though he had been nursing along back and hamstring injuries for 6 weeks. They are both at the top of my "Heroes" list, along with my brother Eric, who ran every step of it with my dad to make sure that he made it. I love my amazing family!"
Here's my brother Eric's account of the race:
I have never cried in a race but could not help many times as mom pulled away and left us at ~ 8 miles. She looked so young and vibrant and visiting with a very nice lady from Ghana. Dad started having issues about that time with his hamstring but I have never seen anyone with more determination. I had to keep reminding him to stand up straight and breath. There were several times I was extremely worried but he would put his hand on my shoulder and kept going. There were several times people asked if he wanted to get into the shuttle but he would have none of that. At mile 13 I told him he would have grandkids waiting for him and he started to cry to the point of barely breathing. I told him he could not cry again until we finished. Luckily you could see the mile markers at about 3/4 of a mile and I would say what can you see and he would say a yellow balloon then remember they were silver (we grab one after the race). He was amazing and when we had .2 miles to go he had three minutes to get under 6 hours (his goal) and we picked it up and finished to what we think is under 6 hours. It was one of the most rewarding weekends of my life. It meant so much to mom and dad to have Amanda and Julie bring their kids. I cannot express just how proud I am of mom and dad. They are amazing parents and it was humbling to hear dad talk so sweetly of mom and you could just feel the love flow from him.
We truly have amazing parents.