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The other morning, I raced the dawn—seeing if I could get to my turnaround before the sun broke forth over the horizon. Simple, but rewarding because even if you lose, you win.

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Jul 14, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

July 28, 2015, Seafair, about 8AM, I-90 closed and not a sound of people or cars. Running uphill with the sun just coming over the mountains on Mercer Island., right in my eyes. Ground shaking thunder. And then, surrounded by early morning fog and sun behind, the Blue Angels appeared in perfect formation. What more can i say. . . :)

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Jul 13, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

I think my best running experience was last August when I did a 10 mile race with roughly a 1000 other people. The longest race I had ever done before that was a 5k, so I came in with just the goal to finish the race. I ended up running it at a 7:15 per mile pace which I was super happy about. I also finished in 204th place so that was fun too, and I think only 5 people beat me who were younger than me.

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Jul 11, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

Oh, just remembered a few more---how could I forget to mention NYC; also Charlotte, NC;

I enjoy your column,

Thanks,

Amanda B.

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Jul 9, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

I loved the NYC marathon. I tried a few years to get in, and then (at the time, they allowed this), was in on my third entry. I really truly actually enjoyed this marathon---all the hype, excitement, crowds, the buroughs, the festivity of it all. I think it was the highlight of my 42 marathons. My first was Chicago, and that was pretty wonderful also---but not quite like NYC.

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Jul 9, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

My father was a Sergeant Major in the Marine Corps. After his death I dreamed of running the Marine Corps Marathon. I registered for the 2001 MCM, and then came 9/11. There was talk of cancelling but terrorism never wins. As I ran past the Pentagon and saw the destruction, I was overwhelmed. I had “Daughter of a Marine” printed on the back of my shirt, and many runners slowed down to encourage me. I finished, and when a Marine placed the medal around my neck, I knew my dad was proud of me. I finished six more Marine Corps Marathons but none was as rewarding as the first.

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Jul 9, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

The best experience I've had was during the Saguaro National Park Half Marathon this past February when I had my first experience trail running, and I fell in love! I felt like a kid again running around in nature with no music and just taking it all in.

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I started seriously running during the pandemic and in October of 2020, I ran a solo marathon--my first one ever. It was brutally hard, but strangers kept cheering for me. Eventually, I realized that my wife was riding her bike about a quarter mile up the road, telling everyone what I was doing. She also told a bunch of our friends about my race, so when I got to the finish line, I had a crowd waiting for me! Only thing is, she told them the wrong place, so I had to run an extra half mile to get to them. It was not pretty--but it was worth it. :)

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Jul 9, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 and it never occurred to me to run during those 35 years that I lived there. We moved to Colorado and I fell in love with running and I kept thinking why on earth did I never run back home next to the ocean? I promised myself that I would return and run everywhere I should of could of but didn’t. On my 50th I was able to make it back. For my first run the plan was to run bordering the ocean until I could run no more and then call an Uber. I decided to set out at 3:00 am while it was still pitch black to avoid the heat. Mile after mile all I could hear was the rhythm of the waves crashing with the sound of my feet stomping on the pavement. I was rewarded with the sun rising right ahead of me in all its glory. It seemed like the sun was the finish line and he was cheering me on to keep on running and I had to comply. 🌞

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Jul 8, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

One of favorite memories was running from Arc de Triomphe to the Louve down the Champs - Elysees and back (about 8 km) with some friends at about 6am, then going for coffee.

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Jul 8, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

Early morning runs toward the sunrise at the top of the hill, squirrels running on either side of the trail in front as if leading the run, a doe and her fawn grazing in the field, a possum slowly crossing a downed tree carefully watching my passing. All stark reminders of my small place in a vast wonder that is life on this planet.

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One winter break, I took my family down to Sayulita, Mexico. It's a cool, quirky surf town a couple hours away from Puerto Vallarta. Once you start running north of town , you are suddenly in thickly-jungled hills that meander along the coastline. Occasionally they lead down to a narrow stretch of beach, then back up a trail into the wild. It was so beautiful, and I was all alone, and I just kept going and going. The endorphins kicked in, the runner's high, and it was amazing....

Then I went a little too far, became lost, ran out of water, became weakened by heat stroke, and well, I made it out, but barely. It was both the best and worst run of my life.

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Jul 8, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

Running my first marathon and qualifying for Boston that day. Running Boston. All the team relay trail races with good friends.

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Jul 8, 2022·edited Jul 8, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

Last month, I ran my first marathon at age 54, 11 months and 5 days. My grandmother died of heart disease at 54, and my father (her son) had his first of several heart attacks at 36. I had been determined to run a marathon before I turned 55 to prove to myself I could avoid a similar fate. Despite many people reacting with some level of skepticism ranging from “how will you find the time to train” to “you’re being unrealistic to think you can run that far at your age and level of fitness”, I did it. And the bonus of being near the last is that by the time I showed up at the last 50 meters to the finish line, the “beer garden” alongside that final stretch erupted in cheers and applause when I came down to the finish. It was like entering the stadium as an Olympic marathon champion! So I crossed the finish line all smiles and high as a kite with all of the love and support that day from the running community.

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Jul 8, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

Half my lifetime ago, my first marathon near my home town of Saginaw… cool air bridge crossing of Detroit international Marathon (goes into Windsor, Canada and back!)

Post competing in X-country in HS and College wasn’t sure if I’d ever feel that competitive challenge again, it was inspiring, fantastic & difficult all in one - and an unexpected BQ time! (I was young)

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Both my wife's and my father died of cancer. We'd done the Relay For Life before, mostly because it was like an all night party... When one of my wife's best friends died of breast cancer I decided to go all out the following year. I hit everyone up for donations... friends, co-workers and was even allowed to hit up our companies vendors. When I asked for a donation on a per mile bases, they asked how far I planned to run... I heard all kinds of laughter but everyone donated knowing I'd never hit it... Then I got Tee shirts and had people write on them the name of anyone they knew of who'd had cancer. Up to this point the furtherist I'd ever run was a full marathon... I started at 5:30 in the morning and had a route that would put me back by either my or my daughter's house until they started the official kickoff at the local HS track at 5:00 in the evening. I changed socks, shoes and hit the restroom after pushing fluids all morning and afternoon... I learned the hard way years earlier that walking was harder on your feet than slowly jogging...

I lasted until a little after 11:00pm... my wife picked me up and drove me home...when I called, she jokingly asked why I couldn't just run home, it was only 2 miles!

At the time I was 62 and my final total was 63 miles... I collected a little over $5800... People at the time thought I was nuts... my response was to them was, "what would you do to save a life?" This was my way of raising money to help those I couldn't physically help myself.

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Jul 8, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

Three days into a cross country move, alone as my spouse was still wrapping up job/house stuff back home, I had just dropped my anxious mother off at a nearby airport and drove 2 hrs back to my new city. Received an email from the title company advising me to wire the down payment vs. bringing a cashiers check to close as originally agreed. First reaction: Gimme a break. Second reaction: This can wait, I need a run. Out on the road: OMG it’s a scam. Scammers want me to wire tens of thousands of dollars out of my account never to be recovered again. Man, the runners high was strong that day after I realized a run literally saved my butt from being temporarily homeless and losing a large chunk of money. So now I buy all the gear and gadgets I want guilt free. ☺️

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Jul 8, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

Manitoba Marathon 1981. A tremendous day for me of which I have only a few clear images. But cherished still. Been running since, of course.

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Jul 8, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

Every time I go for a long training run in the Fall when I am able to "finish" at a cider mill about 1.5 miles from my home. I usually grab a half-dozen warm, freshly-baked donuts and a pint of ice cold apple cider....then I slow-jog about a mile for my cool-down and walk the rest of the way home while enjoying my "reward"....pure heaven...

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Jul 8, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

My first marathon - every aspect of it, from the first training run to the race itself. I was 39, had not been a runner but decided I wanted to run a marathon. Every day for six months I couldn’t wait for my daily run at noon on my lunch hour. When the race (Marine Corp Marathon) was over I was beaming. I’m still running, 32 years later, but I’ve never since been as jazzed as I was for those first six months of my running life

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Jul 8, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

Finishing my first civilian 10k, feeling good with the time. (getting donuts after 😉) and also realizing that it’s not really about how fast I went, it’s just that I did it

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Jul 8, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

Thanks for this reflection Tyrell! This moment happened for me this past April 2022 when I ran my 1st Boston Marathon. I had always dreamed of running Boston and with the luck of attaining a charity BIB I ran for Trinity Boston Connects (Sole Train) and my moment happened when I made it to the top of the feared Heart Break Hill, I honestly did not realize that I made it until I saw that glorious sign that said "Congrats on Summiting Heart Break Hill", flooded with emotion and finding a second wind I knew it was only a few more miles to checking this one off.

I got the marathon bug, next stop Chicago 2022'.

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Jul 8, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

My community of friends run their races as they train. In groups. I’ve never done that; event day is a solo.

Did something different recently because I had no choice. Chuck the expectations and just do it. I was in and around my group the whole time and it ... gasp ... was fun. Not a PR but I couldn’t have had one anyway.

Fun ... fun is good.

For me personally; those training runs where I get to help a better qualified friend thru a wall or just chat up a newbie while they question sanity; that’s an epic day.

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Jul 8, 2022·edited Jul 8, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

Chicago 2019.

I was discharged from the hospital Sept. 29 after a 6-day bout with pancreatitis and ran the Marathon on Oct. 13. Probably wasn't the smartest move, looking back, but I'm able to say I ran one of the World Major Marathons and finished under my own power. Barely, but I did.

Fast forward nearly a year to the day (9/19/20) and I was hospitalized again for pancreatitis. This time it almost killed me. Twice. After, among other things, three hospitalizations, a nasogastric feeding tube followed by two months of being fed intravenously, pneumonia, a collapsed lung, a brick-sized cyst on my pancreas that ultimately ruptured, a mini-stroke, close to ten procedures, and a lifelong case of diabetes, I got back out running in the fall of 2021. I even completed our local half marathon in April 2022. So pretty much every race or training run I do is a victory. I DFL'ed an 8K trail race a few weeks ago and I was thrilled. A finish is a finish.

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Jul 8, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

Crossing the finish line of my first marathon (Detroit 2009) with my son at my side. I was seriously ready to quit around mile 23. I'll never forget Shawn saying "Dad, you ran over 500 miles to train for this. You can do 3 more." And of course he was right!

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Jul 8, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

When I think about your question, the running experience that comes to mind was the run leg of my first full Ironman, Ironman Nice 2015. I waited for my good friend to finish the bike leg, so we could run together. We talked and laughed the whole way, going over the swim and the bike legs. Also, my daughter and niece were there along with friends who all were cheering us on and would run along side us when we were close to the spectator area. The run was 4 laps of 10K on the famous promenade des anglais, so 5K out towards the airport and then 5K back towards the finish area. On one side there was the stunning Mediterranean Sea and on the other side was beautiful charming Nice, France. It was utterly fantastic!

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Jul 8, 2022Liked by Terrell Johnson

Easily the best running moment I've had was during the NYC Marathon when exiting the Queensboro Bridge, which is a pretty hard slog at that point of the race, and then turning onto First Avenue and being met by a throng of humanity cheering you on. It was an instant energy burst, and it was a connection to the city, a communion really, that would be hard to explain to someone who had not been through it.

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My greatest moment so far was during an 108 kilometer ultra marathon in the Austrian alps in 2021. After around 40 kilometers, I reached the top of "Zwölferhorn" mountain, about 1,500 meter high, with an incredible view of the surrounding area – mountains covered in trees, beautiful lakes, little villages. Sweat, sunscreen, and tears of joy mixed in my eyes and made me unable to see anything for a few minutes 😅

Best race experience ever. Mozart 100 it’s called.

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I'll go first, with the caveat that maybe this isn't my all-time greatest experience on a run, but it's my best in a while -- I went for a 3-mile run this morning here on Fripp Island, where I'm staying with my family this week for vacation. As you know, I've been injured and returning to running has been a bit of a struggle for me, and I am still feeling pain in my left foot and ankle.

But this morning, I left my devices behind and just ran. It's warm and (very!) humid here, but after the first half-mile or so, I started to feel stronger and stronger. I've run with a smartwatch for so long, and been so focused on the numbers it gives me, that it has been a long time since I've just run by feel -- and I haven't felt this good in a long time on a run.

It's amazing what can happen when I just allow myself to be present physically, and I'm not mentally ticking off boxes, and making comparisons to a pace I think I "should" be running.

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