This is part two of a bunch of “fluff” stories from the Marine Corps Marathon. If you missed it, you can find part 1 HERE!
Semper Fi, Big Guy!
Part way through the race I figured something out. Typically, if you tell a Marine “Semper Fi!” they will say it back to you. And if you tell them “Oorah!” they will also say it back to you. Now this only works with a male Marine (at least, I never tried it with a female), but if instead you yell “Semper Fi, big guy!” you will get a very enthusiastic “Oorah!” yelled back at you in return. I had a lot of fun with that along the race course once I made that discovery 🙂
Woman on a stick
This story is an odd one. At mile 20, just as we were beginning our trek across the 14th Street Bridge, there was a guy standing on the side of the road with this:
He was yelling “Woman on a stick! I’ve got a woman on a stick! Woman on a stick for you!.” I have no idea if it was some kind of inside joke or if he just wanted to make something really bizarre to entertain the runners.
During the race I also saw a lady holding a giant poster of a hot dog, and several people dressed up as Santa Clause, Ninja Turtles, and condiments (ketchup, mustard, and relish). I guess the latter can be justified by Halloween being right around the corner from the race. But that woman on a stick… it certainly was the most bizarre thing I saw along the course!
What happened at mile 20?
So things were going well up until mile 20. I wasn’t running the pace I had hoped to run, but things were still going. I had been fighting for nearly 6 miles at that point to keep running and I kept waiting for a third wind (or was I needing my fourth at that point? I’m not sure). As soon as I crossed the mile 20 mark, I suddenly slowed to a walk. I just couldn’t fight anymore. And once you start taking walk breaks in a race, it’s awfully hard to stop.
But here’s the thing. Making it to mile 20 and battling to that point was a really big accomplishment for me. I’ve never actually run 20 miles without stopping before. I had to dig really, really deep and push past barriers I’ve never pushed through to get to that point.
In the days following the race, a small voice in my head kept wondering if I had pushed harder at mile 20, could I have kept running? Could I have finished the race in under 5 hours? I had A, B, and C goals for the race and I missed them all. My A goal was 4:30, B goal was sub-5, and C goal was 5:04 (which would have been a 30 minute PR).
But then another voice says that deep down, I truly feel like I did my best on that day. I had already been fighting for so long, and I’m very proud of that. But now that I’ve had that achievement, I wonder if there’s another wall I can push through and if I can actually run an entire marathon from start to finish…. so is there another full marathon in my future? Absolutely. When will it be? No idea!
Will I run MCM again?
Heck yes, without a doubt! I don’t know if it will be next year or 10 years from now, but I’ll be back.
What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve seen during a race?
Do you like to run races multiple times, or are you more one and done?