There are several people deserving of a BIG "Thank You!"
First, my wife, Leigh, is most deserving. I started basebuilding back in July. Do you have any idea how gross my clothes are after running hills in July in Alabama, then letting them sit in the trunk of my car all day? Well, Leigh does. And I ALWAYS had clothes to work out in. ALWAYS. Plus, other than calling me crazy several times, she has been amazingly supportive. She was my personal aid station and photographer at the marathon. I LOVE YOU!!! I am so blessed and thankful for such a wonderful wife! Good luck with the Rudolph Run Saturday! I'm so excited for her first 5k!!
Second, my friend Mark Freeman sent me thousands of text messages to make sure I was not slacking. I mean, this guy would even ask what I was eating. He held me accountable! We both wanted to be below an 8:00 average pace for the marathon. He was; I wasn't. It must have been the cheesecake. Also, he says I talked him into running the marathon. I say he talked me into it. Either way, thanks, buddy.
Another person that I could NOT have done this without is Matt Davis. Matt realized several weeks ago that he wasn't going to be able to run in the Rocket City Marathon because of scheduling. But he still trained with me! Oh, he was easily ready to run the marathon Saturday. Search the blog for Matt and see how many times he drug my lazy head out of bed. He even ran a 20 miler with me knowing he wasn't going to run the marathon. And Leigh calls ME crazy. Thanks, Matt! We'll pick out another race and train like madmen again.
I've blamed Angie Reed for ever getting me into running. She was the first person I met who actually liked to run. I had tried running several times before in my life, but I always hated it. I didn't know that it was possible to like it. After hearing her talk about running, I decided to try it open to the possibility that I could like it. The next thing I knew, I was training for Cotton Row and then I was hooked. She volunteered at Rocket City Marathon. She also dubbed my fat pictures as "Eric at large" which I think is hilarious. Thanks, Angie.
Thanks to Kevan Moore who has cheered for me in this effort like no one else! He checked on me and congratulated nearly every training long run. He has shown genuine enthusiasm that I believe only Kevan is capable of! On the day that I ran 20 miles for the first time, he came over and mowed my yard. I sure wasn't looking forward to walking behind that lawn mower after 20 miles! Thanks!
And there are several others who encouraged me along the way. Mike Greene was always checking on me, bragging on me, setting an example for me with his training habits, and gave me lots of advice. Tanjie Schrimsher and Whitney Hollingsworth direct the only two races that I know about in Limestone County. I really appreciate it! Both of those races were very important parts of my training. And Tanjie writes a great blog about Limestone County runners. Any time she mentions me, traffic to my blog spikes!
And thanks to all the volunteers and police officers who made the Rocket City Marathon the great event it was! I was sure to thank them as I ran by Saturday.