This past weekend’s Lincoln Marathon was so much more to me than a foot race. I moved about race morning with an ease that had been missing for the last 5 years. Editions where I felt uncomfortable being around the very people I consider my own. Sunday was different altogether.
Maybe it was the gathering of all previous champions. An air of excellence fairly permeated this first weekend in May. A cushion, nay, magic carpet, allowing me to move freely among those athletes. No longer tentative about approaching every mate, regardless of kit or position. Shaking hands, sharing smiles and stories. Creek bed devoid of turbulence.
Picture perfect. I spent more time mugging for lenses and much less time as vocal lightning rod, clearly my hardest work is done.
Rushed from the Bar None to meet my old buddy Dave, the one I worked with on the ’04 &’08 Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon. Introduced him to the Good Mates. I hope that is a lifetime memory for them.
Hopped in the annual NDORFNZ pre race photo, thanks Gary for being a friend. Answered the start line photo call with the team and accepted Nancy’s invitation to assume a familiar position. As the lenses whirled I whispered to her it was “just like old times”.
Levi Ashley and Tom Nichols, both ran for me in their heyday. Such a pleasure to catch up with these fine young men. The last time I had seen Levi was at his wedding.
Eric Rasmussen, one of the fiercest competitors I’ve ever had the pleasure of.
Christy Nielsen, I got to tell her “I’m different now” and she knew what I was offering.
Kaci Lickteig, has another Olympic Trials qualifying (<2:43) performance in those legs, I just know it.
Michelle Paxton, the chance to thank her for the shared journey that began 14 years ago.
Cameron Cummings, professing a lack of fitness (but an appreciation for the weekend), still running a 2:51. He’s coming out to supper tonight before heading back to Wisconsin.
Ron Olsen, finally after 40 editions of the race, winning his age group. Likely with a broken rib.
Kelly Crawford, able admin and second in the 50-54 to that stud Joe Metcalf. I made a special point to offer an olive branch with the handshake.
Brian Bergt, The Amherst Flash.
Robert Borer. I had sketched out a 4 week training program on a napkin, he carried it to a phenomenal race.
Manny Falcon, he knows from whence I come.
Logan Watley, his own vision now part of mine.
Mike Reilly and Agustin Delgado. Lifetime mates no matter the kit.
But most of all, Nancy Sutton Moss. Her unflagging support of USATF, our clubs, our members, the vision. Of me.
Discussing the intricacies of our sport with my my old buddy Dave during his cool down back to the Cornhusker.