By far was this was not an ordinary marathon. This was the 2009 Mauld-ING marathon. Pre-race festivities were simple and NO LONG LINES at the john. At the starting line the light turned from Red to Green and we were off running the first Mauld-ING marathon.
This is my 5th and best marathon I've ever run in. If you've followed my story then you'll know I was battling an unhealthy lifestyle 4 years ago. I was obese at 308lbs. My good friends at the YMCA, Activate upstate, along with Kristi Arledge, Matt McFadden, and Jeni Schumacher nursed me back to health. They've helped not just learn about health but also gave me the tools needed to become an athlete. I now run Marathons, Triathlons, and cycling in long endurance events.
Today I was supposed to be running in the ING Georgia Marathon in Atlanta. Jeni put together my training plan and I felt ready. This is my way of celebrating turning 42 and best yet celebrating 4 years of being healthy! I dedicate these runs to every person who have helped me along my journey to health.
But, something happened this past week with the health of my 14 year old daughter and even worse our 10 month old foster baby. After a doctors visit our planned trip to Atlanta was canceled. My whole family insisted I go. But, I couldn't. This came down to choosing my FAMILY FIRST. I'm glad I made that decision because our foster baby took a turn for the worse and we had to take him to the ER. Fluids, observation, and test concluded Asthma and the flu.
I mapped out a 26.2 mile course and set with a new birthday gift of a fuel belt for a lone marathon. God had another plan. Ron Jerina from the P3C3 Challenge to Conquer Cancer Ride emailed and said he was coming to ride his bike next to me and give me water and fuel when I needed it. What an awesome soul. I show up this morning to see Ron and a surprise visitor. There was Chris Giordanelli, a local multi-sport athlete. Chris had a race bag filled with goodies like a nice running hat, Gatorade, gels, said it was sponsored by Janis and Chris.
Ron took pre-start pictures, we walked to the stop-light and we were off. 26.2 miles ahead of us. It was a brutal course. 1,300 feet of hills and a 27 mph head wind. Chris paced me the whole way and Ron kept the fluids and gels supplied. Ron also took a lot of pictures. You'll see them soon.
Fast forward to the finish line. Our legs feeling the hills and wind. Ron took more pictures and Chris said wait. The award ceremony began. Chris took a trophy out and medal. Put the medal on me and handed the trophy "FIRST PLACE MAULD-ING MARATHON 3-29-09.
These two men gave up a Sunday morning and made it special for my day of celebrating health! That moved me and I am forever grateful.
I came home to my family. Got hugs. Tears filled my eyes as I count my many blessing today. Thank God for family, friends, and a life of health.