Bob Bestler | My marathon training, and running, have left the station

02/08/2013 10:56 AM

02/08/2013 5:59 PM

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.

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