The 33rd LA Marathon was Sunday. I did not run. I did go out and cheer. I posted up at the Starbucks as you leave Beverly Hills at mile 18 and head into what seems to be the slow uphill grind known as miles 18-25 of the route. I was playing snack mom for a couple friends and cheering for everyone and anyone that made it to mile 18; elites, chair athletes, serious runners, students, charity runners, people walking, everyone that was on that course should have someone on the sidewalk cheering them on and I was going to be that person whether they wanted to hear my cow bell at that point or not.
I had a conversation with someone I work with today about the marathon. He knew someone that ran the second half of the charity relay and was watching from in front of our office further down mile 18. He made the comment that as he was leaving after his runner passed by around 10:00 am, that there were a lot of people still out there and they didn’t belong on the course because they weren’t runners. I was stunned into silence. I didn’t know how to respond. This individual, who admitted he has never completed more than a 5K fun run, clearly thinks a 10 minute mile is not good enough to be eligible to participate in a marathon. Then he continued with comments that the people walking parts of it should have trained more so they didn’t have to take walk breaks, that run/walking was for training not race day, etc, etc. At this point, I wanted to throw my stapler at his head; instead, I did the only thing I could think of at the moment and said OK and turned back to my computer. I run/walk. I am slow as molasses. I am a runner. I am a marathoner. No one can take that away from me because I have run across that start line, fought my way through 26.2 miles of my own personal demons, and walked out of the finisher corral with a marathon medal around my neck. I vehemently believe anyone who dared to start the LA Marathon on Sunday deserved to be on that course, and anyone who dares to disagree with me had better have run or walked 26.2 miles in their own shoes before running their mouth.
Congratulations to everyone that had the courage to run/walk/crawl/limp/roll from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica and become a Marathoner.