Let me be the first to welcome you to Myrtle Beach Marathon Week.
The MB Marathon is an event that has always been close to my heart, ever since I started doing (not running, but doing) marathons to help raise money for leukemia – and to fill a few hundred column inches back in the day.
I did all 26.2 miles of the Myrtle Beach Marathon in its early years, then, getting older, did a half-marathon.
Later I helped out by becoming the “sweeper.” That means I walked behind all 1,800 or so marathoners to make sure no one had been left behind in a ditch or port-a-potty or a McDonald’s.
Kenyans can finish a marathon in about 2 hours, most regular runners between three or four hours.
Me, I walked for eight hours as I followed the slowest runners/walkers to the finish line.
A couple of years ago I accompanied my daughter on a 13.1-mile half-marathon, both of us starting out with very little training behind us.
She made it to the nine-mile mark before blisters took over. I limped on alone and came in dead last.
Curiously, my age in that event was listed as 99. So where was the media? Why was I, a 99-year-old marathoner, not interviewed? NBC would have loved it. Better get on the stick, people.
But I digress.
That one told me my marathoning days were over. I loved the marathon, but hated the training. Sadly, you cannot do one without the other.
But I still wanted to be a part of this great event so this year I have become a volunteer and will register runners for the full marathon on Friday.
It’s not very exciting, but I think my legs and my feet and my back and my hips and my heart will thank me when my shift is done.
If all goes well, I may volunteer for marshal work next year.
I’d just stand on a corner and smile at runners as they go by. That would sure look good on my resume if I ever need a job as a Wal-Mart greeter.
Contact BOB BESTLER at firstname.lastname@example.org.