Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Marathon.

'Hey barefoot guy, need some shoes?'

If you ever want a pick me up, some motivation...or to just completely restore your faith in humanity, go to a marathon, a triathlon, an ultra. You meet the most incredible people.

Sunday, May 5th meant it was time for the Pittsburgh marathon. This meant getting up at 4am so we could get downtown before the sun made an appearance, and me taking a nap in a parking garage for two hours because Ashley doesn't particularly care to be awake at that time of day.

Last year my Darling ran the race in about three and a half hours. That was when he was hoping to run it in four hours and he took a break half way through to drink a beer. This year he decided he'd run it hard and PR (personal record). He hoped for 3:20, maybe even 3:18 if he got lucky. Now as incredible and impressive as all of that is, it's not the point I'm trying to make with this post. When I was still waiting at the finish line and 3:30 went by, then 4:00 and he still wasn't there, I was wondering what the heck happened.

His friends and I tried tracking him, but all we found was that his timing dropped off halfway through the race. Then my phone rang from a number I didn't recognize. I answered to find my Darling on the other end, saying he had some problems but only had five miles left. About thirty minutes later (and five hours into the race), we see him practically sprint across the finish line, looking completely unscathed, in a brand new pair of running shoes.

For some reason, that neither myself or his cross country friends can comprehend, my Darling decided running the marathon in his cross country shoes would be a good idea, and maybe it was...until mile thirteen. By then his feet were so messed up he had blisters on his toes. He realized he couldn't finish in those shoes, took them off and trekked on for another two miles. That's when another guy running the marathon said, 'Hey barefoot guy, need some shoes?' The kid lived close by, pulled out his cell phone and made a call. Moments later his mom met my Darling on the street with three brand new pairs of running shoes, asked "What's your size?" and handed him a pair so my Darling could finish the marathon.

These days all you have to do is turn on the news and it's pretty easy to become bitter or always expect the worst. My grandmother doesn't turn it on anymore except to watch the weather, and I don't blame her. Don't get me wrong it's good to know what's going on in the world. We shouldn't bury our heads in the sand, but it sure would be nice if there was more promotion of positivity.

What happened with the kid, the mom and the shoes? We have no idea of their phone number or where they actually live. We have no clue how to give them their shoes back. So if you know a kid named Sam who lives around mile 15 of the Pittsburgh marathon route, we owe him a pair of running shoes...