In the Spring of 2003 I ran 13.1 miles in the Country Music Half Marathon. I vividly remember the moment when the group running the full marathon split off and kept running forward, as I continued down the quarter-mile home stretch. “Those people are nuts,” I thought to myself. “Why would anyone run 26.2 miles? That is insane!”
Then the thought occurred to me that before I started training, 13.1 miles probably seemed a little extreme, too. But I did it… twice. I have also ran in the Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon in Virginia Beach, a terrific race mostly because of the last 2 miles on the boardwalk by the beach (after 13.1 miles of running, there is nothing like falling into the ocean for a refreshing salt bath). When asked if I had ever run a full marathon, I could almost tell them “yes,” since two halves make a whole.
On April 28, 2007, I am running in the Country Music Marathon, my first attempt at achieving the insanity I thought I would never experience. My inspiration to train for this insanity came from two places.
First, the story about Sam Thompson who ran 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 states is tremendous. Sam ran to raise awareness for the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast. It’s hard to believe that Sam can still walk, but he can, and he pulled off this unbelievable feat without any significant injury.
Then I have to point out Bruce Coleman, a coworker of mine. I’m not sure how old he is, but he runs like he is 25. Hovering somewhere in his fifties, Bruce races in triathlons, marathons, and duathons more often than most people go to church. His drive to stay in shape and maintain a high level of excellence athletically has been a strong motivator for me. Bruce was the first person to actually challenge me to do the full marathon in April.
I figure that if one guy can run fifty marathons in fifty states in fifty days and another fifty-something guy can run multiple triathlons and marathons in a year, then I can run in ONE.