Since I started participating in races a few years ago, I’ve always tried to manage a smile at event photographers at different points along the course. However, given what I know I look like when I run (red-faced, sweaty and not even remotely cute), I’ve never really felt the need to own any of the Kodak moments that are available for purchase after the race. Heck, I rarely open the emails announcing that photos are ready for online viewing.
Except for this.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I completed my first marathon not too long ago — with the company and support of my older son on the back part of the course and my younger son waiting at the finish. At Drew’s suggestion, I viewed the event photos after the race was over to see if there were any of us together. And here we are…just a few strides from the finish line.
I purchased this Kodak moment.
Instant tears hit when I saw this online, even with the annoying watermark blocking much of the image. And tears struck again when the hard copies arrived in our mail today. I love this photo.
Of course, the stands and sidelines are mostly empty because it took me so long to finish. What was left of the crowds had moved on to the beer tent and family reunion areas. While I know there were still some folks left on the course behind me, they were spread way out. (I’m pleased to point out that the three runners pictured behind me were completing the half, not the full. Smile.) But look at my boy. I can tell by the position of his head that he was still pumping me up, telling me that I’ve got this — right up to the finish. He’d wanted to step off the course at the finish line to let me cross the line by myself and give me “my moment.” Obviously I wasn’t having that. This was the memory I wanted. I was one of the slowest finishers, but I was a finisher…and surrounded by support and love.
I will be forever grateful for this memory. It’s one of the best of my life.
I can’t wait to do it again.
Which, I might add, is happening sooner than I’d anticipated. We both received entries into the Chicago Marathon this fall. At this event, however, my boy will be going the full distance — at his own (much, much, MUCH faster) pace. He’ll finish way ahead of me and I’ll be on my own for the entire course this time. But I know I’ll still have big hugs from both of my boys waiting for me at the end.