October 4, 2009---The 28th Twin Cities Marathon
9:00am EST….8:00am CST…..I step from the stoop to the street to run as I have for the past 28 years. The 1st steps were 28 years ago in Minneapolis when I ran the very 1st Twin Cities Marathon. I lived there then. For the next 19 years I kept the streak alive by showing up every fall in Minneapolis to run 26.2 miles to the State Capital in St. Paul. In 1983 I set my marathon PR there: 2:58:17.
The streak ended at the 20th running of that fall classic. There were other roads to follow. My internal running compass was to be set in different directions. The goal was 20 TCM’s in a row. That had now been accomplished.
Yet every year since then, as I did today, I always started my run on TCM Sunday at the moment of the Start in Minneapolis adjacent to the Metrodome. On this Sunday thousands lined up outside the Metrodome to begin the arduous journey into themselves on the road to St. Paul. Some 24 or so hours later the Metrodome itself will be filled to capacity as a seasoned warrior named Brett will lead his Vikings against the very men he once lead in Green & Gold. He is now on a different road as well.
I just finished reading Cormac McCarthy’s excellent read, “The Road.” Of personal interest was the father/son journey into the unknown of a wasted world. The dynamic of the relationship rivaled that of what Robert Pursig described in that 70’s classic, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” Pursig vividly described a cross country trip by motorcycle with his son as he explored the limits of his sanity.
It has been a mere 8 days since I shared 100 hard road miles with my son Eric. In 1985 a then much younger Eric had crewed for me and my partner Tony Benthin as we biked/ran/canoed some 530 across the entire state of Minnesota. Eric got a first hand look at the road we travelled that tested our will and determination. We asked no quarter-we gave no quarter.
From 1985 to 2009 has created many changes in Eric and myself. He is in the prime of his athletic self. I am on a new road. Time has been both friend and foe. I must now travel that road with what I have. Yet, while the body must deal with physical changes, the mind and will must remain strong. That I can control. That remains strong.
I now have chosen to give what I’ve got to a different road. Eric invited me to be part of, “Team Little Guy.” This team is comprised of Credit Union workers and members who run or ride together to raise money for a variety of great causes.
With the Tour to Tanglewood just wrapped up this past weekend, it’s time for Team Little Guy to turn its attention to the organization that we will be supporting over the next several months. Hope for the Warriors is a three-year-old organization that is working wonders in the lives of injured troops and their families. Our plan for this effort is at: www.teamlittleguy.com
For the past 30 years I have run for myself. I will now ride on a different road. I will ride for those who can’t. I will ride for your continued support as we help those in need. I will continue to ride and kick some butt whenever I can. I will proudly ride with Eric & Team Little Guy as we ride down the roads we have chosen.
I so cherish the past….but wallow in the many miles to come…..