Center of the Nation, Center of my Goal – South Dakota State #25

Center of the USA right on this spot.

Center of the USA right on this spot.

Can you believe I’m Half way there… 25 states Down.  When I think of how far I have come it’s kind of mind-boggling.

I used to tell people I run, now I tell people I’m a runner.

 I chose to learn to run again because I needed to feel normal.  I needed to feel strong, independent and to prove to myself that I could do everything anyone else could do despite my challenges.

 Once I was able to walk, I decided I might be able to run short distances. That turned into running a lot and then finally into my first marathon. Soon I ran second marathon where I met a man who inspired me into setting the giant goal of running a marathon in each one of the 50 states. Here I stand half way there.

I have learned much and grown much. The goals and expectations I  made back then have grown as well . I have learned through this journey that part of my role now is to give back.  Running marathons is more than an athletic goal to me now.  Recently while watching a LDS (Mormon) general conference. I heard these three simple words that resonated with me: teach, inspire and motivate.  

Through running my marathons with my limitations, I now strive to teach,motivate and inspire others that everyone has  the ability to overcome challenges and realize they are stronger than they know. This is my new purpose for running and training.

After the North Dakota Marathon on Monday  I did a little sight seeing in South Dakota with my Co-pilot and Brother-in-Law Mike McCoy. What a beautiful state with so many things to see and do.  We loved the amazing state of South Dakota.

South Dakota represents my half way point. I have made so many new friendships at the wonderful places I have visited and met kind and supportive people who live in all these cities and towns I have traveled through. My life has been blessed in ways I never could have imagined.

Trent Morrow, Me and Maniac friend

Trent Morrow, Me and Maniac friend

One such person is Trent Morrow aka Marathon Man. (Trent’s goal is to break the world record for running the most marathons in one year) I met this crazy Aussie last spring while running a series of marathons in New England. He made a huge impression on me and I liked him immediately. I have followed his exploits on Facebook so when I realized that we would be meeting up again in the Dakota Marathons I was excited to see my friend. His personality is so addictive that most of the people he meets are instantly drawn to him.  Since funding was scarce at the time he asked if he could bunk up with me. I was thrilled to help.  When I arrived in North Dakota I met up with Trent and another friend, Denis McCarthy.

I learned a little something about Marathon Man, Trent Morrow that night in the hotel. Even though he wears a Super Hero costume when he runs he’s very much a normal guy. He is his own secretary, financier, accountant, travel agent and trainer. He is a one man show and perhaps his one true Super Human power is his ability to arrange flights, cars, food, hotel all by himself with very little help if any from anyone else.  How he finagles the money to pay for all this is another miracle I don’t have space for. I’ve experienced these same things with my running adventures as well. If I didn’t love doing this as much as I do it would all be too much and I would probably have given up already. Don’t worry folks I won’t be giving up anytime soon at least not for another 25 marathons anyway!

After a good nights sleep we arose early for the next day’s marathon.Now I know what you’re thinking, “Two marathons in two days, are all runners crazy?” Yes, yes they are but back to the story…I was now beginning to feel something new. I was no longer here alone but now I was meeting up with new friends doing what we all love to do. Run, run and then run some more. So many people recognized me and I in turn recognized them from other races. It was like a big family reunion.

The air was filled with so much positive energy and fellowship it’s hard to describe the feelings I had that chilly Tuesday morning in South Dakota. Sure the portable potties hadn’t arrived and it was very cold and we were all a little sore from the day before but it didn’t matter. All that did matter was we had a coarse laid out and no matter what each one of us were going to do our best to complete all 26.2 miles of it!

The marathon was full of sidewalks

The marathon was full of sidewalks

Strange things happen on marathons. People get  tired  and become a bit loopy and loose lipped. Since part of the course was run on cement sidewalks and most runners don’t really like cement since it pounds your legs and body a bit too much. Me and another guy were running together as we ran up besides two young female runners. As we got next to them and were getting ready to pass the one blonde gal turned to the brunette and said, “This cement hates my boobs!” that’s when my running companion looked at her and countered, “Well if it makes you feel any better, I love them!“. I was so embarrassed I started laughing and quickly ran away.

I felt strong and very motivated during the race. Once again the people at the hotel were wonderful and let me stay a little longer so I could shower before checking out. Mike was a life saver as well.

Thank you South Dakota for marathon number 25! I will be back and this time I’ll be sure to take my time and visit everything.

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