Monday, January 15, 2007

Off The Current Events Path

Went yesterday to the P.F. Changs Rock 'n Roll Marathon in Phoenix/Tempe , ahh...try this...http://www.rnraz.com/home.html to watch a friend and co-worker, Abby Simpkins, compete and finish (hopefully......and she did) in the marathon. She's an awesome person, in coping with loss of their 6 year old daughter last year in a tragic accident, she has turned to running. Abby finished and it was great to see her compete and complete despite having severe knee pain.

I took the Mrs. and 3 kids, we hung out, there were bands all over the place and I'm guessing, 150,000 people there, lots of fun despite the cold.... sunny and in the 40's, topping off at 51 degrees. It was the first time for me witnessing a marathon and I've got to tell you, very inspiring. People from ALL walks of life, young and old, fightin' and running like hell to finish.....very cool to see, the finish line at a marathon is very cool.

As we were leaving, about 1/4 mile or so from the finish line at about the 6 hour 30 minute mark, there was a group of about 15 people with yellow shirts with the letters "NF" coming down to the end, they looked to be a support group for a guy with a walker who you could tell was handicapped and struggling with every step. Everyone lining the streets was yelling, clapping, many people with tears in their eyes and encouraging him on, definitely one of those moments that'll put a lump in your throat and send chills all over your body.

I get home and finish reading the paper and see this article:

In the long run, my friend Pete is the true winner in life

It starts off............Somewhere in the sea of 39,000 runners in the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon races today will be the bravest, most selfless guy I've ever known.If you're out there, look for him.

The truth is, Peter Dingeman is not difficult to pick out of a crowd. The disease that has plagued Pete for as long as I have known him, over 40 years, has disfigured the side of his face a bit.

Well, more than a bit. He has endured more than 24 surgeries in his lifetime to fight the effects of neurofibromatosis, or NF, as it's known, and the NF tumors have been cruel to the side of Pete's face. In one of the more recent surgeries, doctors drilled holes in his skull and sewed his eyelid to the bone to keep it from drooping. It worked OK for a while.

Read the rest.

Although I've had a few surgeries on my right knee, I've got it figured out......... mix in 16 - 20 miles worth of running with 6-10 miles worth of fast walking and I can finish that sucker in around 4.5 hours.....the Mrs. already started training........last night when we got home................damn. ;-)

6 Comments:

At 5:57 PM, Blogger kleph said...

as one of those thousands of runners, i want to say being there and cheering for us means a hell of a lot as well. thanks.

 
At 6:55 AM, Blogger Joe Gringo said...

Way to finish mate, I read your account of your experience, sounds grueling, 4 hrs, 20 minutes in your first race is something to be proud of....nice!

 
At 10:03 AM, Anonymous serendip said...

Truly inspiring and moving post. Thank you for sharing it with your readers.

 
At 10:11 AM, Blogger Brooke said...

How inspiring!

 
At 2:41 PM, Blogger Joe Gringo said...

Thank you!

It was definitely inspiring watching just about everyone "will" themselves to the finish line.

 
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