Brent Summers is not a runner. But he was up at 4 a.m. the morning I ran my first half marathon to drive me to the start. He was up at 5 a.m. the morning of the Fall River half marathon to drive me to the race, then stuck around to cheer me on through the finish line.
He isn’t at every race, but he never forgets to wish me luck. He listens to me talk excitedly about every race coming up and listens sympathetically (or at least pretends to be sympathetic) as I complain the next day about my sore legs.
To Brent, my family and the random supports who line up at the end of the streets just to cheer on the passing runners — thank you.
I hope you know what a difference you make. Running is a lifestyle and a commitment, not just to the runners, but to the people in our lives. Long runs can take the place of leisurely weekend mornings. But those runs make us who we are and make us happier people.
Thank you for not asking “Why not just stop?” every time I have a complaint. Thanks for walking across the room to pick something up for me in the afternoon of a half marathon morning. Thank you for ringing your cowbell. Thank you for your funny sign, for the smile and for the wave. Thank you for letting your children give me high-fives and tell me “Almost done!” at the beginning of a race.
Thanks to the citizens for not calling their city council and begging them to stop closing down your roads for races. Your roads make our goals attainable. We know it’s a hassle.
And to Brent, thank you for waking up at 4 a.m. on your weekend morning, driving an anxious me to the starting line, and coming back to bike along side the race with me for the last quarter mile holding this.
For those who can’t tell, that’s a picture of me and my (then) newly adopted cat (who I was and am obsessed with) with Go Natalie! written on it.
To all the supporters of runners: Your smiles, cheers and positive energy get us past our breaking points. Thank you for always being there.
P.S. Mom: Thank you for coming all the way from N.J. to cheer me on for the half marathon. Your support in everything I do means the world to me. P.P.S. I hope you are as supportive when I tell you that I am planning to run a marathon in 2014. (She doesn’t think it’s a good idea… she did make my knees and all)