I will begin by thanking Pub 317, Run to the Pub and Bozeman Running Company for the opportunity that was awarded to me. It all began two weeks after graduating from college and no longer being a college distance athlete. Home for the holidays, my older sister was trying to convince me to enter into races to keep me in shape.
The first race on the list was the Run to the Pub. I entered my first half-marathon. In college our races comprised of 8k and 10k race distances. So I was preparing for a race more than double my race distance not knowing what to expect. The race went well because when it’s a race distance you haven’t completed before you are automatically set up for a personal record. I finished third and received a finishing time of 1:17:30. Afterwards my family and friends and I celebrated with a beer and waited for Missy O’Malley to go through awards and announce the winners for the trip to Dublin. Being a person so passionate about running I could not believe that when she announced number 95, everything had just changed for me. I had just won a trip to Dublin, Ireland to compete in my first ever marathon!
Then there was the seven months of preparation and waiting… During that time I was wondering if the 27th of October would ever come and when it actually did, I was wondering where the last seven months had gone and if I was prepared enough to run my first ever marathon. Thankfully I had my overly positive older sister with me to help the nerves. Race morning was here! The race was a blur, minus the last 4.2 miles. Lol That’s where I was wondering how do people actually do this? I had no idea what place I was in, just had my watch. Then I heard this little boy scream, “Your number 22!” It almost put me in shock; my dad had joked before my sister and I left not to bother coming home if I didn’t finish in the top 20. So, in my head I was thinking not that I really want to go home because over the next week I have the whole country to see, but my dad might actually let me come home. The people from Ireland were the ones that got me through, unbelievably cheerful and supportive. Words cannot describe the amount of support and just sheer number of people who lined the streets that morning. 2 hours 34 minutes and 26 seconds after the start, I crossed the finish line and had just completed my first marathon where I had just set a new personal record. Unfortunately, instead of gaining two places in the last 4.2 miles I lost two places and finished 24th overall out of more than 12,000 runners, just a couple of places out of the top 20. Guess I didn’t get to go home…
A week later and after touring the southern half of the country, my dad had finally said we could come home. Little to our knowledge after getting our return trip organized courtesy of wi-fi at a nearby Starbucks, our rental car had just been locked in a parking garage with all of our bags for the night. Maybe we were not going home. Thanks to the assistance of those friendly Irish people we were able to get our car out early the next morning and security at the airport escorted us through to ensure we made our flight back home! Thank you again Run to the Pub, Pub 317 and Bozeman Running Company for the trip of lifetime and providing me the opportunity to continue my passion for the sport of running.