I was fat, out of shape, and hated running. Then a colleague at my new job (which is not my current job, 23 years later) invited me to run a 5-mile race with our chemistry department so that our department running team would get more points and beat another team (the law school) against whom we competed.
In spite of my distate for running, I agreed to get into good enough shape to finish.
I ended up fininshing 2nd amout our 12 chemistry faculty members.
But mostly I ended up loving to run. Within six months I lost 40 pounds, ran a few other short races, and entered the Golden Spike Marathon (now defunct) in northern Utah. My time was 3:54. The date was 5/5/79--23 years to the day (okay, one day off) of my 10th marathon coming up this Saturday, 5/4/02.
Frankly, I can't remember much about that first marathon, other than I was definitely tired and beat-up at the end. In spite of that, I knew I wanted to run more marathons. I only wish I had keep at it more consistently over the years.
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