The Unofficial DC Marathon Report |
courtesy of: Tracy Krughoff
click on images for a larger view
"For me there is nothing more thrilling than the marathon"
Fred Lebow, organizer of the original New York City Marathon
It was a beautiful day for runners in our nation's capital yesterday. Over 550 runners came out to run a marathon that almost did not happen - they came to run a race that the local DC running community would simply not allow to die.
As a community, we were all devastated with the cancellation of the 2nd annual DC Marathon on Wednesday last week. Several staunch supporters of runners came together (quickly!) to organize a massive grassroots effort with the help of local running groups and a handful of sponsors - Fleet Feet, PICnet, Honest Tea, Firehook Bakery, and Safeway, to name a few.
The dedication from volunteers was overwhelming - from begging for donations to marking the course in the wee hours of Sunday morning. A large group of bicyclists came out to help the runners navigate traffic. Runners from far and wide sent us emails voicing their support for the race.
But the most amazing part of the story is the runners themselves. Among the core network of volunteers, we had no idea how many people would show up. As the sun came up over the Memorial Bridge next to the Lincoln Memorial, runners appeared from every direction - with smiling faces and hope that today they would be able to live out a dream that they had been living with for five months, and in some cases, much longer. They were extremely grateful and appreciative for our efforts. In all my years of running, I have never experienced anything like it. A runner told me at mile 25 that I was his hero. These runners were my heroes that day - they understand what the marathon is really all about.
On the morning of a marathon, I typically wake up and the first thought in my head is that 'I am going to do something great today.' On this day I woke up with the thought that today we as a community are going to do something great. We gave these runners something they will never forget - and they gave us a marathon in the truest sense of the word.