Congratulations to all finishers on 10/10/10! Mother Nature dealt a crooked hand this past Sunday in Portland, OR. Soggy shoes, soggy shirts, and soggy shorts ruled the morning. Our TeamGFR Marathon and Half-Marathon group performed bravely! Finishers endured a record setting rainfall for marathon day and a record crowd of runners and walkers.
Here’s a link to the pictures Susan took: [You may have to paste it into your browser or go to the GFR Facebook page.]
Pictures from 2010 Portland Marathon: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=226386&id=87156918283
Many of you are still a bit sore today. Most are happy they finished. Some are admittedly a little (or a lot) disappointed they did not meet their intended goal time. Regardless of that finish time, YOU ARE A MARATHONER or a HALF MARATHONER!
As I have reminded folks after numerous marathons. You are now a member of an elite bunch of folks. Less than 1/10 of 1% (that’s .001 for the decimal minded) of the US population finished a marathon last year. How many people can confidently say they are in the 99.9+ percentile in anything? Congratulations – you can make that claim! Don’t believe me? Here’s your proof:
Susan and I have spoken to a lot of folks. Emailed a few more. And posted to a whole bunch of Facebook profiles. Ladies and Gentlemen, that was a tough day. No one should feel disappointed with their performance. You may not believe me at this point (just 2 or 3 days after the race), but some day soon – maybe not this week or next – but soon, you will look at that finisher’s medal and wear that finishers shirt and shed tears of joy while feeling an intense sense of accomplishment. You EARNED that medal and shirt on Sunday. No one can take that away from you. Think about ALL the days that went into earning that medal and shirt. It didn’t just happen magically on Sunday 10/10/10.
Not only did you endure nearly 3/4 of an inch of rain, you made it through over 5 months of consistent training. Are you fitter, thinner, healthier than you were 5 months ago? Did you meet and get to know some brand new and absolutely awesome people over the last 5 months? Did you find yourself actually looking forward to getting up early on Saturday mornings – and behaving a bit more on Friday nights? Did your life change? Did your accomplishment inspire others to make changes in their lives? Do you realize the impact that medal around your neck had on your family, friends, and co-workers? How does it feel to be inspirational?
I’ll admit, I have had a few brutal marathons. More of them have been successes, but none of them have been a “walk in the park.” My first experience at the Boston Marathon in 2005 was affected by an unseasonably hot day and I wilted miserably over the last 4.5 miles. I was disappointed and felt that sense of failure. I was kicking myself around inside my head. It was still obvious on my face a couple of hours after the race. Then something extraordinary happened. Susan and I were doing the tourist thing, walking around Boston wearing my finisher’s shirt with my medal around my neck. While we were waiting at a crosswalk for a traffic light to change, a guy holding a cigarette and wearing a Boston Red Sox ballcap asked me how I did. I mumbled something like “Well, I finished, but I didn’t hit my goal.” He looked at me in absolute amazement. He tossed his cigarette aside and threw his hands up in the air and shouted, “What’re you talkin about? You finished da Bah-stun marathon! Bah-stun, man! Nobody cares what your time was – you did it!”
Ah – perspective!
Susan and I are excited to hear your post-marathon stories. We will listen and offer advice on how to get closer to those goals in the next one. But expect the same reaction from us as that guy on the Boston street corner: “What’re you talkin about? You finished da Portland marathon! Portland, man! Nobody cares what your time was – you did it!
Have a great week! Please plan on attending the Celebration and Kickoff on Thursday November 4th. We want to see ALL of you PROUDLY wearing those finishers shirts!