Thursday, May 12, 2011

Moments That Change Our Lives!

I always get a little nostalgic when the River Bank Run comes around.  Granted, it's only 25K.  Many of us refer to that distance as a "warmup."  But it was only 16 years ago, in 1995, that I experienced that distance for the first time.  Joe Hulsebus, from down the street, had been the guy who told me about the race and got my brain going in that direction. Now, here I was, never having even run 10 miles before. (Not my best training strategy!)  But somewhere out there at the end of Indian Mounds Road, around six miles into the run, I overheard some guys talking about marathon training. (#1) Something in my brain something went "Whoa!"

So, in spite of finishing VERY SLOWLY, I came away from the experience with the belief that training for a marathon that fall was NOT UNREASONABLE!

I made a plan.  After all, I could barely walk, I might as well sit around and think, eh?  I picked Columbus on November 12 as my target.  Originally, I wanted to run Chicago, but had other things going on.

Things were going well as I lengthened my long run a little every couple weeks.  Then Runner's World came and I found out about the Boston Marathon lottery for the 100th in 1996.  (#2)  I sent in my application, hoping to get lucky.

Another month, another Runner's World.  An upside-down article talking about "The Last Marathon" which was held in Antarctica in 1995.  The next one would be in 1997.  (#3)  I called Marathon Tours.  "Where do I send my money?"

My schedule freed up, and now Chicago could work for me. Plus, I had a free place to stay with my short college buddy, Mike Schwartz.  (#4)

Hey.  I guess I was a marathon runner.  Signed up for four marathons before I ran my first one.

The big moment was here in Grand Rapids though, out on Indian Mounds Road, as I was working to finish my first River Bank Run.

There's lots more to the story--but there'll be another newsletter soon.  Or you can go to and read a bunch of my other stories, if you wish.  You never know where this running stuff will take you! (The numbers are what I refer to as "marathon minutes" -- the times that have a way of changing your life in a very short time!)

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