You Can’t Spell RACE without RA

This past weekend was my hometown’s inaugural marathon – the Mill Race Marathon in Columbus, IN. So much has changed in Columbus since I graduated high school in 2007: we finally got some great fast food chains (Noodles & Co., Chipotle, Panera, Qdoba – I can only imagine off campus lunch for high schoolers…oh the choices!), the Commons has been remodeled, and downtown has been completely revamped. And now – we are hosting a marathon!

I’ll be honest, I was not jumping out of my seat to sign up for this half marathon – I had already ran my first marathon & a half marathon in July. And let me tell you, after completing my first marathon, I never wanted to run ever again. Ever. Not another step. I even ran in the “happiest place on Earth” – but that is hard to believe when you’re 5 hours into a run that anywhere can be a happy place that allows this torture.

Annie & I after our first marathon!!

But 26.2 miles wasn’t enough, all my dad wanted for his 50th birthday in July, was to do a half marathon in Chicago: the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon.  Anything for you, dad! On a positive note, it was my best half marathon (2:02!) and a great way to run around the city with my parents.

My dad & I before the Chicago Rock ‘n Roll

So when the thought of running another half marathon sounded horrible, until I heard that one of my great friends, and oldest running teammate, Kelsey, wanted to complete her first half. That may not sound like a good enough reason…but Kelsey was recently diagnosed with RA – rheumatoid arthritis. Kelsey was a superstar runner in high school & college, and this diagnosis forced her to give up running for a few years. She wouldn’t let it stop her – and she wanted to get the old gang back together again for one more run – to complete her first half marathon.  How can you turn down running with 5 of your best friends, with 2 others running the full marathon, all to help our friend reach her goal?? Naturally, we had T-shirts made (You can’t spell RACE without RA!), and we talked & laughed through 13.1 miles in our old stomping grounds.

All smiles 4 miles in – thanks to Kyle for being a great photographer
At the 9.5 mile marker – where the marathoners/half marathoners split

 To be back in Columbus, with all my best friends, old running teammates, family friends, & family created memories that are not soon to be forgotten. I will admit, this marathon was not as “exciting” or as crowded as the Disney full or Chicago half, but nothing beats being cheered on by your neighbors, old teachers, former church members, parents of my friends, and people I haven’t seen in over 6 years.

Celebrating Kelsey reaching her goal

So proud my dad stuck it out and completed his first marathon!

 I may not run another race for a while, but I’m so glad I could share my races with great friends, my parents, supporting a great cause, and supporting my hometown. I can’t wait for next year, and maybe next time I can actually win the truck…

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