Monday, August 26, 2013

20th Marathon

By Ross Forman

My first-ever marathon training run in 2007 was three miles along Chicago’s lakefront.  I finished it, but, hours later, was in the emergency room at Glenbrook Hospital, unable to put any weight on my left foot.

I had fractured my ankle and was immediately fitted for a walking boot—for at least the next four weeks.

I thought my marathon running career was over – before it even started.

But, thanks to encouragement from Coach Katie and so many others, I stayed on the path.  And I did run my first-ever marathon, as planned, on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, 2007, after a revised four-month training schedule, not the initially-planned six months.

I haven’t stopped running since finishing my first, the Florence (Italy) Marathon.  Consider:

·       I have run 19 marathons, which equates to 497.8 race-day miles.

·       I have run marathons in 5 countries.

·       I have run the Honolulu Marathon 5 consecutive years, and my sixth time running 26.2-miles through the streets of Waikiki and beyond will be this December.

·       I have run the Chicago Marathon 3 times, and have yet to find a race with better crowd support.

·       I have celebrated Independence Day (and Chuck’s Birthday) for the past two years on Sauvie Island, just north of Portland, Ore., running the Foot Traffic Flat Marathon.

·       Only once have I run 23 runs, and thought I might not finish the final few miles of a marathon.  That happened this past July 4, when severe cramping had me worried that I wouldn’t cross the Finish Line.

Thankfully, I finished the marathon this past July, though I dropped a few F-Bombs and other choice words and phrases along those final few miles.

I thought about hanging up my Brooks shoes after those painful, less-than-memorable final few miles in July, but ultimately I was excited to test myself in my next marathon.

Especially since it would be my 20th.

Wow, I still can’t believe I am about to run my 20th marathon.  Heck, I never thought I’d run one, let alone 20.

My 20th marathon is on Sunday, Sept. 22, when I tackle the 38th annual Omaha Marathon.

Why Omaha?
Well, I don’t really have a great reason, other than the timing is good, the bling is great, and the fact that in-uniform U.S. Marines will greet me at the Finish Line with a medal makes the event extra special, extra emotional. 

When I think of Omaha, Nebr., I immediately think of the College World Series.  That’s it, nothing else.  It’s a city of champions – of at least one champ, crowned in May or June after the NCAA Baseball season.
Rocket Men: Ross & Roger (Clemens)
I was shocked, but happy, to see my alma mater, Indiana University, swinging for NCAA glory this past season.

I remember being in Omaha years ago for IU’s softball team, which was pursuing a National Championship.  I also have been in Omaha for pro wrestling events in the past.  But, I don’t remember much about my past visits to the city.

Looking forward to making 26.2 memories – for the 20th time overall – in Omaha on Sept. 22.

See you at the Finish Line,


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