Today was a very important day for me. I ran my longest race to date at the Route 66 Marathon relay. But the distance wasn't the most important part about the race - it was why I was doing it. I want to share with you why today was so special.
At my last job, I worked with a wonderful man named Randy. He had a sunny personality, greeting everyone with a big smile and slap on the back or a "Hidey ho!" Everyone had something nice to say about him.
Randy was a marathon runner. Earlier this year when I started running, he would always encourage me and ask how it was going. I felt silly feeling proud of the 1 mile I ran compared to the 26+ that he could run, but he always treated it like a great accomplishment.
Running marathons wasn't Randy's biggest fight. He passed away on Sept. 27, 2010, from melanoma. After he was diagnosed and started treatment, we watched the weight fall off of him. Even though you could see in his body the arduous fight he was going through, you'd never know it when you spoke with him. He was so inspiring, so encouraging, so strong; still always smiling, still asking about you when you wanted to talk about him.
D.C. trip with co-workers
When Randy lost his battle to melanoma, I was asked to participate in the marathon relay in honor of him. I accepted in a heartbeat, although the distance (more than I had ever run) daunted me. But I had to do it for Randy, for everything he went through. Today during the race, I started to feel tired and I took the time to take a short walking break and talk to Randy. I asked him to run with me because I needed a piece of his massive strength. After I had the talk, I started running again and I hit my stride - I felt great. It was the best race I've done and I surprised myself with my time.
Randy kept me going today.
That one was for you, Randy. I miss you.