As I said earlier, the whole reason we were in Dallas was because one night, Jonathon stumbled upon a post in the GORUCK Facebook community about Mark Webb who had lost his leg in an accident. He was in recovery, set to receive a prosthetic shortly and was going to run a marathon with it just a few short months later. The GORUCK community immediately rallied behind Mark and signed up to do the marathon with him. Many people signing up in support, including Jonathon, had never met Mark, or ever run a marathon, but they were ready to run the Big D with Mark.
While I’ve yet to participate in any GORUCK event, I’ve certainly watched my fair share, that either Jonathon has participated in, or that we just were spectators for. We’ve even hosted a cadre at our apartment after a weekend GORUCK so he could get some sleep before an early flight back to Atlanta. (We also took him out to the bars so he could see what Boulder is all about. He asked!) The camaraderie and support from this group is infectious, and they are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.
After our ridiculous hotel debacle, we called an Uber and left for the Big D Marathon at 6:30 am on Sunday. Since the Marriott was only booked for that night for us, we had to check out, so we had all of our bags with us. Luckily Jonathon insisted I only bring my purse and my GORUCK backpack, so lugging around my luggage all day wasn’t terrible. (Thanks hubby, you were right!)
The Big D Marathon was bigger than both of us expected, and all of the instructions from their website were wrong. The streets they said to use were closed off, the gates where we were supposed to enter were also closed, and there weren’t any instructions on drop off points, just where to park. Luckily our Uber driver was very familiar with the park where the marathon started and ended, and he was able to drop us off at the perfect place!
It was easy to find the group of GORUCKer’s that Jonathon was running with, and before I knew it, the race had started and they were off! It was only 7:45 am, and I hadn’t had much coffee at all, so I looked through some coffee recommendations my friend Michael had sent me, called an Uber and headed downtown. I had plans to meet friends for brunch later, but knew it was *way* too early to contact them, so coffee and work it was.
Finishing the Big D Marathon
The timing was perfect as I made it back about 20 minutes before Jonathon finished the marathon, in just over 6 hours!
He was a little tired after that:
We stuck around to wait for Mark Webb to finish, as he was the reason everyone was there:
As I said, it was great to watch the camaraderie and support of this group as they cheered on Mark to his finish at just under 7 hours.
We’re Not in Boulder Anymore
I’ve not attended many marathons, triathlons or other races, but the ones I have cheered on have been in the Boulder area. This one in Dallas was…different. And not in a good way. When I got back to the finish at about 6 hours later, there were ZERO people in the crowd cheering the runners crossing the finish line. Not only that, but the volunteers were actively tearing down the event! They were even going so far as to take down the water stations. It was very disheartening to watch these runners finish, out of breath, excited, but with no one there to celebrate with them or give them water. I know I left the event, so I’m part of the problem, but if I’d known that this town didn’t support their athletes, I may have stuck around.
This past summer Jonathon and I cheered on the Ironman Triathletes as they raced across Boulder. We were there for the first ones to cross the finish line and we were there (with quite a crowd) at midnight as we cheered on the last few participants to finish the Ironman. It was a sight to see!
Going to these other places and experiencing the difference definitely makes you appreciate the attention to detail you see at the events run in Colorado!