14 weeks ago my youngest sister, Haylee, decided to take the leap and sign up for her first marathon. Up until that point all of my sisters were runners. My sister, Holly, was game to come and run her second Rock and Roll San Diego half and our oldest sister, Heather, wanted to join in on the fun even though she couldn’t race this year due to a double knee scope last year. Our youngest and only brother, Hayden, isn’t a runner but how fun is a sibling trip without all your siblings so we thought we would challenge him to join in on the fun and sign up for his first ever running race and to the tune of 13.1 miles! To our delight, he casually took on the challenge and signed up for the race, bought a pair of non name brand running shoes and bought his ticket to San Diego.
As I mentioned he had a casual attitude when he said yes and kept that demeanor for the next 14 weeks. I’m used to being around people that talk mostly about their training schedules and all that goes into preparing for an event but it was almost eerie how little we would hear from him…we were kinda worried if he was actually running to prepare for the event but then ever so often he would send us a picture message with his treadmill stats. We were reassured he was training and very impressed with his pace (unless he was taking a picture of someone else’s treadmill workout) and would be prepared to tackle 13.1 miles as the weeks counted down.
When everyone arrived in San Diego last week we could see he still had a very cool attitude (not to be confused with arrogance or over confidence) about what was ahead. He asked the night before the race what he should eat before the race as he usually ran late in the day on calories from previous meals or just from coffee and water. Again, a little concerning but it was so refreshing to see he wasn’t worried about it.
We were talking about what everyone was wearing as my fashion sisters always wear someone cute for a race and I would be sporting my HERevolution race gear but he didn’t have anything planned and ended up grabbing a white under shirt and paint stained basketball shorts to throw on that morning.
It was so refreshing to be around someone that wasn’t concerned about gear and stats and was just out there to run and see what he could do. He showed us with his 1:44 half marathon result that you don’t have to be a “runner”, you just need to “let your heart race”. Which was also the case for 91-year old, Harriette Thompson, who didn’t start running until the age of 76 plus a cancer survivor and broke the time record for her age group (only 2: 81 & 91) during the marathon Sunday!
Great reminder for those of us that get so wrapped up in training and racing to just enjoy the act of being out there and being grateful for your strong body and what it can do for you.
Congrats to my family that raced and big thanks to our sister, Heather, for supporting us throughout the weekend!
Matt: 3:42:34 (PR)
Half Marathon results