WASHINGTON – You prepare for a lot of things when you sign up to do your first marathon. Blisters. Heat. Stomach flutters. Chafing.
But do you really think about the possibility of a “Frankenstorm?” Probably not.
For a while there I was worried the big day would, literally, be a wash-out. Now it looks like Mother Nature will graciously wait until after the last marathoner has crossed the finish line before unleashing her fury.
We might have some light rain on the course Sunday morning and there could be some gusts of wind. Not bad, all things considered.
And did the organizers ever consider canceling or postponing the 37th Marine Corps Marathon?
Rick Nealis, the retired Marine who commands the whole thing, scoffs at the thought.
“We (the Marines) are not bothered by water,” he says. “We are amphibious!”
Rick also is fond of saying that rain is “liquid sunshine.”
You gotta love that kind of spirit. OOO-RAH!
And it is contagious. Not one runner I spoke to in the packed marathon expo at the D.C. Armory talked about quitting, although I have to admit, there was quite a run — excuse the pun — on the booth selling “shred-able” waterproof jackets.
I talked to young runners and old ones. As a matter of fact, I got some advice from two of the “Groundpounders” – guys who have run all 36 Marine Corps Marathons and will be going for number 37 on Sunday.
So here I am, attempting to do my first 26.2, surrounded by all this marathon greatness. And it’s a strange thing. After sitting down with them for a while my anxieties about the big race just sorted of melted away. They have faith that I can do it. Now, so do I.
So if you are out along the course on Sunday, don’t forget to yell out an “atta girl!” Just look for the short runner in the Steelers cap (sorry, you can’t take the Pittsburgh out of the girl) and the jersey that says “the few…the proud…the Marine-a-thoners.”