I was heading toward the OC Fairgrounds by mile 24 and it felt good. I was still trying to do the math, was I gonna make it by the 7 hour time limit? My brain was not cooperating and I resorted to counting on my fingers which were pretty fat by this point from all the sweeling. About the 100th time I tried to do the math I was gonna be 30 minutes short. Then on the 101st time I did the math I was going to finish with 30 minutes to spare.
Then I came to one of the final water stands and they were playing some great motiviatonal music: Journey, Eye of the Tiger. By this point I had walked for about 8 miles straight but the music found some energy in my legs. I managed to run for about 2 minutes and my calves started to cramp up again.
Now I was a mile away from the finish (walking) but I knew I was gonna make it and knowing that made me feel great. It didn’t make my legs feel better but I had a smile, at least I think I did. Then I saw one of our supporters, Dusty, walking out of an adjacent parking lot. Dusty started to walk with me and it was great to have someone to talk to.
He really underestimated the distance to the next streetlight but it was nice to have someone to chat with. I crossed the final street and was heading into the OC fairgrounds, only a quarter mile to go. Then I saw the metal gates to separate the runners from the spectators and the spectators started getting more dense. Then I saw a few limping runners with medals arround their necks. I WAS CLOSE!!! I looked arround with the group I was going to be finishing with and decided I wanted to have my own finishing moment at the finish line and saw a large gap infront of the group I was in. I started to get up on my toes and take a few running steps then I was actually running. After 10 miles of nearly nothing but walking I was running.
One final turn and my support crew was running along the finish shout with me cheering me on. They announced my name on the loud speaker, I raised my arms in pounded them to the sky with excitement. The final step across the line I HAD DONE IT!!! I finished my first marathon, under the time limit, with a cold, in new shoes and on some pretty woobly legs.
I had ran and walked for 26.2 miles and now I could barely walk to see all of our support crew. My legs were toast. Our athletic trainer was on top of it and had plenty of ice for all our aches and pains. Zeb meet me at the end of shout. We both had our medals, body aches, and a great sense of accomplishment. Zeb finished nearly and hour ahead of me, he just keeps impressing me and he has a bunch more planned for his running career.
It was an incredibly experience and I made it to my goal but I think I have some more goals. Like improving my time, walking less and beating my brother next time. I guess we just have to see where we will end up.