It Takes A Village…to Race a Marathon

I hope everyone was able to get out and walk their distance in cooler temps this weekend!
I was with the Montreal group of Phyllis, Rorie, Shirley and Michael. We all had a very good time. Phyllis booked a good hotel in a great location. We enjoyed Saturday evening dinner in Old Montreal.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. I think that applies to marathon, half or full.This weekend was no exception.
Phyllis shepherded our group to the start, provided Montreal bagels for pre-race breakfast and found us a home away from home. Congratulations on your half marathon finish. Thanks for staying with Rorie and me for the first 3-4km of the race. 
Michael was my dinner partner Friday night. It was nice to get to know him a little better. Congratulations on completing your first marathon as a walker.
Shirley was my roomie for the weekend and it is like being at home with her. We began our walking/ marathoning journey in 2005 and are going strong. She met me at the finish line and I was very very happy to see her.  Shirley provided post-race food and most importantly a direct route to the Metro and hotel. Congrats to Shirley in her 10k finish!
I walked with Rorie and she stayed with me in spite of my multiple trips to bathroom/porta potties before 18k.  It was a different race experience for me and she was supportive and stayed with me until the course split off for full and half. No exaggeration, I am responsible for 30 additional minutes of her time.  She is a good friend and I have to say when we hugged around 19k I shed a tear or two. Marathoning is an emotional sport at times. Congratulations to Rorie on her half marathon finish.
My race time is one for the record books after so many stops. I was happy to move along at a reasonable pace for me (8:15-8:55).  The second half of the race was sporadic as I walked with a runner doing her first marathon (a 30 year old from Montreal).  I welcomed the conversation and I hope she enjoyed the company.
I morphed into my volunteer ‘back of the pack’ role and for approx. 4km I walked with a first time marathoner from Messina, NY.  She ran the marathon but when I met her she was dealing with a very sore hip. I stayed with her to the finish and I think our pace was 20 min/mile at one point.
I did meet my goal of finishing the marathon. Thankfully my focus was not on my time.  I received the gift of support, friendship and kindness from my fellow TPW’ers. 
I know I impacted the runner from Messina, she told me as she asked me to be in a picture with her. Then she gave me a hug and kissed my cheek. It was a bit disconcerting but a genuine moment.

I think it’s important to know that you never know who you will inspire, the impact you may have, when you head out the door to walk or train for a long distance. This is an you experience that changes your life and who knows maybe someone else’s.

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