I ran my first marathon when I was 16. Absolutely bizzarre coming from a girl who vowed she never would run one, I know! Anyways, I have many memories of sitting in my little checkered jacket as a little girl waiting for my mom to meet us at the finishline year after year. Every year that I watched my mom finish or ran along side her for the final mile, I realized the value of what she was doing. I never really did understand as a little girl just how far 26.2 miles was. I didn’t know why she cried everytime she saw her kids cheering for her. As I aged, I began to realize how strong my mom was. I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to run one…. let alone cross the finish-line with the strongest woman I know. Long story short, we made this little dream of mine a reality. Funny how sometimes you go out on a whim and for some odd reason do things you never thought you could like RUN A MARATHON. So on behalf on my mom as a Sophomore in high school, I ran my first one. I high-fived my mom at each mile; never have I felt such peace as I did that day after finishing with my mom. Running has turned into emotional thing for me that brings such happiness—that is my motivation. It is a get-away that I can’t imagine living without…. Like mother, like daugher I suppose? But the meaning marathons have for the guy in this story below have an even more emotional connection that is absolutely inspiring.
So this blog isn’t really about the story of the Brown family running tradition in least. However, I wanted to make a point here that we all have a driving force unique to each of us. I found it absolutely beautiful that the man in this story has a motive to run for a fallen 9/11 hero…even at the age of 70.
To understand this next paragraph I’m about to write… You have to click on the above link and read the story! Ok, ready go.
Each marathon this guy ran was in honor of a fallen hero. He contributed his entire race to comfort someone with a broken-heart, and even gave away his medal. I myself can’t even imagine running 26.2 miles, being crowned with a medal around my neck, and then immediately turning to give that medal away. Maybe I could do it once; but to do it time and time again is incredible. This man had no problem with sending his medal to comfort a complete stranger for the loss of a loved one though.
The love and strength this man had on behalf of even a stranger is commendable. He continued giving and devoting his runs each year to his hero and made a difference in the life of many. This was not something asked of him–he very well could have continued on running having done his charitable work for the year. However, he didn’t, he didn’t see this as ‘charity’ work but something he believed in and loved. He coontinued reaching out. I’m in awe with the way this love and friendship unfolded. The 9/11 victim’s family was rallied around–celebrating life. If we had more stories like this in the world, we would be living in an entirely different place. I was touched by the fact that someone else’s piece of mind was the motivation for his marathon. If I was a victim of the 9/11 attacks that had passed away, I would look down upon this act with nothing but smiles.
“Running marathons have given me everything,” Pratt said. “I knew if I could give someone else just five seconds of comfort from all the effort and training it takes to run a marathon that it was all worth it. I am very proud that at 71 years old I was able to finish the marathon and give this tribute to James’s family.”