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Saturday, March 19, 2011

State #6: Virginia, Shamrock Marathon

The night before I left for Virginia, a college track friend (Kasey) texted me "I'm going to Virginia too..." we then realized we were on the same flight.  We had a fun layover and drank a couple green beers together! The last time we saw each other was around 2006, we were SO excited!!
Kasey and I on the plane!



I quickly settled into the Holiday Inn Oceanside on 21st Street and Atlantic Avenue...then I did a phone interview with Suzanne at WBZ Radio in Boston about 50 for Billy.

I was able to do some exploring on Virginia Beach the day before the race, but not a whole lot because I had to write a memorandum for class.  However, I did take a break to have lunch with Charlene (@OneFootThere) from Philly.  I briefly met Charlene at the Philly Marathon in 2010.  She ran the 1/2 at VA Beach this past weekend and will be running the Marine Corp Marathon!

Charlene and I.
After lunch, I walked the Boardwalk and checked out the finish line.  It was beautiful outside and the weather was perfect for running (50s and cool along the ocean).  I love running near the ocean!  The night before the marathon there was a beautiful full moon right over the ocean.  Its reflection made the water sparkle.  I sat on my hotel room balcony and smiled.  I felt like my dad was sitting right next to me and we were sharing a laugh.  So far throughout this whole journey, I have felt like my dad hasn't been gone.  It feels like I am sharing all of these miles with him. 


On the morning of the race, I opened the glass door to the balcony and saw lots of 1/2 marathoners heading to the start area.  I could also see the finish area from my balcony which made me even more excited.

Virginia Beach Boardwalk & Shamrock Marathon finisher's tent
I woke up to a beautiful sun rise.  Dad was with me.  He wouldn't leave his little Bethy behind.

It was so windy at the start line on Atlantic Avenue!  I joined a bunch of other marathoners in a garage to stay warm.  I met Pam from New Orleans, who is a 50 stater. Shamrock was #29 for her and she was aiming for 3:30.  She was very friendly and hopefully our paths will cross again.  The race was delayed 15 minutes and at first people were a bit disappointed, but I think it was a good thing.  I am not sure that I would have met Pam or had the opportunity to bond with a bunch of other runners in a small little garage area of a random building.

And then we were off!! I met Jamie from North Carolina at mile 1 and ran with her until mile 23.  She had a shirt on that said "every step is for Ben." I asked her about her shirt and she said Ben was one of her preschool students who was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.  She was running for him and raised $1,800! Ben was at the finish line with his family waiting for Jamie. It was Jamie's first marathon and I have a good feeling she will do many more.  We had a lot of fun during the marathon, we took lots of pictures, had our picture taken with Army boys, danced to "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It", sang songs, and laughed a lot.

The Army boys and gals at Camp Pendleton.


Right before the 1/2, a runner said to me, "Hey weren't you just at Myrtle Beach for the marathon?" and then I made the connection...It was Bill, a 50 stater I had met at the starting line at Myrtle Beach.  I ran with him for a while, it was so awesome to talk to him about different marathons.  Shamrock was #78 for him.  He is going to do the 50 again.  I told him his quote "Pain is expected, injury is optional" made my blog and of course he gave me about 3 more quotes, but I can't seem to remember them!  He told me he is running the Kentucky Derby Marathon too so I will be seeing him there! I am sure he'll have some quotes for me then!
Bill, me, and Jamie.


At mile 20, there was a black and white lighthouse near Fort Story.  I had never seen one like this before!


I took off at mile 23, my legs felt good and I was ready to check VA off the list.  I didn't even realize until I made it home that the Shamrock Marathon made me a Marathon Maniac! I am now #3632! 

#6 completed!
The after party!



PROGRESS!!!
Thank you to everyone for all of your support.  I am having a lot of fun with this journey and I know there will be many more awesome memories.  I am off to Salt Lake City next  for the SLC Marathon.  My mom is coming with me since she is on April vacation (she's a teacher).  I can't wait! :)  Please support me by making a donation to the Center for Grieving Children.  Every bit helps, even if it's $1, $5, $10. Donate here!
All of the proceeds go directly to the Center which is a non-profit driven by volunteers.  I went to the Center when I lost my dad suddenly in '06.  They offer free support groups to people of all ages.  Check out their newsletter with a feature on "50 for Billy."  Center for Grieving Children Spring 2011 Newsletter

1 comment:

  1. You are amazing! So sorry we missed in Myrtle Beach.

    ReplyDelete