October 9, 2013

SCOTT MARTIN: Marathon a run worth repeating

By Scott Martin smartin@centralmaine.com
Sports Editor

(Continued from page 1)

Thankfully, as I turned the next corner, I saw groups of people again. There was a couple celebrating their 27th wedding anniversary. A group of four friends, talking themselves through the race. I chatted for half a mile with a fellow Mainer from Boothbay. I picked targets to try to pass.

I chuckled as I passed mile 17 and said out loud, "Longest run ever." I talked to myself, in my head and out loud, quite a bit in that last 10 or so miles, doing everything I could to keep my mind from saying, "Why the heck are you doing this, you fool?"

I wasn't alone. I passed a woman who was singing and dancing (I think I saw her do the chicken dance) as I approached mile 18. And you know what? It was great. At this point, the challenge was as much mental as it was physical. Distractions, like the singing and dancing lady, were great.

When I passed mile 21 and 22, I knew finishing wouldn't be a problem. At that point I was determined to finish under 5 hours, but again, it was not a priority. As we approached mile 25, running along the ocean, I got a little emotional. That was when it hit me what I was about to accomplish. Four years ago, I couldn't run a 5K. Running for 60 seconds on that first day of Couch to 5K was awful. At mile 25, I had been running for more than four hours, and yes, it hurt, but it wasn't awful, it was wonderful.

I crossed the finish line and -- after the high fives, and pats on the back from my family, and after my traditional celebration-- received that useless space blanket and a clunky medal. A woman I passed after mile 25, who subsequently passed me back and blew my doors off down the stretch, thanked me for pushing her to the finish line. We high-fived, a celebration of our accomplishment, then split off into a crowd of fellow marathon finishers.

Marathon finisher. Yeah, that's me. And yes, I just said that out loud. (I may have even done the chicken dance).

Scott Martin -- 621-5618

smartin@centralmaine.com

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