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From a runner to a starter | Letter
So here I was at Pass Lake at 6 a.m. on Whidbey Island Marathon Sunday. My heart, soul and mind was psyched up to run my 11th straight Whidbey Island full marathon. The adrenaline was flowing and just watching those runners exit the shuttle buses and talking to them got me even more revved up. I was ready to go chasing those seemingly never ending hills and long winding roads just waiting, in a few short hours, to grab the glory at the last 50 yards through the chute to the finish line: The longest 50 yards in all of sport.
After all, I was the one they came to asking questions about the marathon on Marathon day. Hey, that old guy has done them all, let’s ask him about the Dugualla dike climb or the mile 22 climb up Scenic Heights Road. Yup, you might say I was becoming a mini legend in the running world, at least here on Whidbey.
I was getting my 15 minutes of fame on an annual basis each year come marathon time. Truth be told, I was kinda enjoying it too. Then reality hit. Oh yea, I’m here as a volunteer, not a runner. I have hip replacement surgery next month, remember? I asked the doc for a swivel hip with a grease fitting so just maybe I could keep running but no joy (he didn’t have a sense of humor). My running days are over.
Just like that my string had ended. So how cool was it that someone (Tamra Sipes, Jim Boer, Keith Jameson or maybe Rich Tyhuis) sensed my sadness and had the timekeeper let me start the 11th running of the Whidbey Island Marathon! To me it was not only really cool but a kind and thoughtful gesture that brought a smile to my face as well as a sense of closure on my marathon running days. Thank You whoever you are.