Music City Half Marathon

I finished the Music City Half Marathon this past weekend and continue to recover slowly.  I think I have spent the last twenty four hours in a tub of ice.  Both my knee and hip replacements throb constantly and my hope is that I didn’t do either of them permanent damage.  As you know I projected  I would simply walk five miles on the course and then stop at a nice outdoor restaurant to chill.  What I failed to remember was there are no places open along the route at seven in the morning.  My slight miscalculation really turned into the incentive to keep going and just finish the WOG.  A WOG is a walk that starts with a jog.  I actually took seven steps in full sprint stride (jog) as my corral took off.  So, technically at the sound of the horn, we all set our timers, found our rhythm, and I jogged… there was no choice.  Seven represents the perfect number and coincidentally was the exact distance from the middle of the road to the far side gutter where I successfully avoided being run down by the wave of 30,000 marathoners who swept by and over me during the next four and a half hours.  One girl’s shirt said "we trample the weak and hurdle the dead." 


I was near the first corral because of a miscommunicated time projection.  If I was only going five miles I knew I could do that in a couple of hours.  So, the race officials saw my time and stuck me up front thinking I would be fast.  It is an amazingly humbling feeling to have that many people (nearly two thirds the population of Franklin) blow past you in the time it takes to watch a movie.  As I said I got to my goal at the five mile marker and no restaurants were open so I kept going.  I had a sweaty $20 bill to buy breakfast and my Wrangler Jeep key.  That is all the provisions I carried.  Next time I think I’m going to do it differently.  Anyway, by the six and a half mile mark people standing on the sidewalks like spectators at a football game were yelling very encouraging words like, keep going, you’re doing great!  I was thinking  "I’m seven miles from my car at LP field and I need to walk back there to get it so I can eat."  I didn’t realize the heroic effort I was making.

If you take the 13.1 miles I Wogged and divide it by the four hours and twenty minutes it took me to finish you come up with just over three miles an hour.  My grandchildren crawl faster than three miles an hour.  In the entire race I didn’t pass one person.  Everyone went by me.  Thirty teenage girls who were running in pink outfits to benefit a cancer victim were at the same time twirling hoola hoops.  I need to make sure you understand this.  These young women were jogging a marathon while hoola hooping and carrying signs.  When they flew by me I thought it was the apocalypse.  A whirling sea of pink humanity unleashed on Music Row. 

Street preachers were shouting that God hates sinners and the irritated runners shouted back that God loved everyone.  I didn’t have the breath to yell anything except 'help.'  By the way, I do know something many knowledgeable people do not.  What is at the end of a Marathon?  What brings up the rear of those 30,000 hopeful striders?  That’s right, a massive Ambulance.  With its lights on full.  I know because I finished just in front of it.  I swear the guy driving bumped me on purpose a couple of times to make sure I was still alive and moving.  All in all my experience at the race was fantastic and New Hope Academy raised a substantial amount of money.  I want to thank everyone who helped me reach my goal and remind others you can still give to the school on my behalf or send me money for my medical expenses.  A big shout out to the rock artist Toby Mac who brought with him over 100 fans who ran and contributed to NHA. Celebrities who don’t have to do the kind of giving Toby Mac does usually don’t.  He doesn’t have to do anything and yet he gives it all.  He is the real deal and demonstrates the Gospel with his art and life. 

Blessings to all who ran and are still running.  I know how you feel.