When my son Dustin asked me to run the Salt Lake Marathon with him I couldn’t say no. He has never run much before but he said that I had inspired him. This would be his first marathon and I was very proud of him for making a decision to run. I knew the race would be a lot of fun and he could keep my laughing since he does do comedy improv! I had already run 2 marathons in Utah and had decided to run a marathon in each state. I didn’t need to do a 3rd one in Utah but how could I, my son’s biggest hero, turn him down.
Since it was a local race things were much easier. No hotel reservations, no airplane tickets, no restaurants, no long drives to anywhere. I just had to eat a lot of bread and pasta the night before and then hop into bed. I had run this race the year before so I knew exactly where the starting line would be. Since this would be Dustin’s first marathon we decided to do the early start at 5:00am. There were only a handful of us who opted for this and everyone else, about 10,000 people, would begin their race an hour later at 6:00am. The early start makes it nice because slower people can finish with everyone else and not be all alone at the end of race with all the free pizza eaten and sport drinks gone.
In April the weather in Salt Lake is a near perfect 75 degrees. The morning was a little chilly when we began but that’s alright because I knew it would heat up before too long. Dustin and I had a great start and we were really enjoying the run and having a great time. We met a lot of nice people along the way and even saw some people we knew. That never happens when you are running out of state. There were plenty of water stations along the course and no lack of portable restrooms either.
As we were coming up to the half way point, about the 13 mile marker, Dustin hit the wall. I thought he was going to collapse. He looked at me and said he had to stop and that he couldn’t go another step. I got him up to the relief station and sat him down on the grass. Then I got him a cup of water and a cup of Powerade. After he finished drinking I got him a power bar and some jell to suck on. I let him sit there for a few minutes then I helped him up. He said he felt like a new man. We both drank a couple more cups of refreshment and then he ran the rest of the race with me with no more incidents. Well, almost no more.
Things proceeded along and both Dustin and I were doing great until we got to the last mile. My son began to get dizzy and was really struggling. I just kept letting him know that he had 99 percent of the race behind him and that we were almost done. I ran slower than I would have if I had been by myself so that we could run side by side but when we approached the the final stretch and the crowd began to cheer loudly Dustin transformed into a runner machine and started to sprint to the finish line. He beat me past the finish with a huge smile on face. I was so proud of him for running the entire race and not giving up. What a great accomplishment! Dustin was so proud of himself he wore his medal to his work at the bank over his suit and tie so all of his customers could see it.