Nate ran his first marathon on May 6th in Cincinnati. He had been training for it since the beginning of the year, and it was a little bit surreal that all of that work building up to one single day came and went in the blink of an eye! Though it probably lasted a little longer for him while he was running in the 85 degree heat! When he first told me that he was going to run The Flying Pig Marathon I wasn’t sure how serious he really was. But over the course of the months leading up to it I realized that he really meant business.
We rode up to Cincinnati on Saturday morning the day before the race with my In-laws and our nephew, Ethan. Both of his sisters and their families headed up a little later in the day. We got Nate registered for the race and browsed through all of the booths that were set up downtown. It was a little bit like a giant indoor fair for runners!
The race was brutally hot in the mid 80’s. Basically the only type of weather that Nate hoped to not have to deal with. There was no cloud cover and the route had very little shade to offer, if any. His parents drove him up that morning for the start, which was around 6:40AM. They came back to the hotel and we all went down around 10AM to grab our place on the sidelines to watch him finish. He didn’t quite make the time that he had originally hoped for, but he finished! I am insanely proud of him. When I think about what would happen to me if I tried to run 26.2 miles I just, can’t even go there. I would not make it guys. And he made it in the heat, sun beating down, with a horrible migraine.
After the race we (his posse^) all went to find and meet up with him. Traveling through huge crowds of people with that many kids in our group proved to be interesting. Especially with 3 flights of stairs and 2 strollers! We had so many signs made for him that we didn’t even have enough people to hold them up! He definitely had quite the fan base cheering him on!
Other than the heat, it was a beautiful day overall. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but Nate’s Dad is a runner. He ran this marathon three years ago and another one in Louisville the next year. He hasn’t been able to run for any substantial amount of time since being diagnosed with cancer last year. Nate ran this race for him, and the minutes after they saw each other were the sweetest. I’m so glad I was able to capture that moment.
Nate – I couldn’t be more proud of you and the dedication you’ve shown to yourself, to your Dad, and your family. Running may not seem like that big of a deal to some people, but I can see how this has changed you. I love that you’ve found something to strive toward and that you only want to keep getting better at it. It’s an inspiration to me, and to everyone who knows you! I love you so much.