My 2011 Chicago Marathon race recap, part 2

While I shared race details yesterday, I couldn’t call my recap finished without thanking some people; not just for Sunday, but for the past year. I’ve had a lot of help, a lot of love and a lot of support from many people as I tackled my goals. I mentioned in Part 1 that for a while on race day, I thought I was letting everyone down. That was silly, I wasn’t. My friends and family have my back, no matter what. Sunday showed me that. I struggled and they were there- to cheer, encourage, push and motivate…and get me stuck in an elevator.

True story, after the race we went to our suite at the Congress hotel. After I got cleaned up the 12 of us decided to to go eat. So we all crammed on the elevator and got stuck. Yes, stuck in an elevator. Luckily we got it to move and we muscled our way out. We took the stairs…it hurt but I liked that option better than sitting in an elevator for a long while.

With that said, I’m a lucky guy because of my friends and family…and because I didn’t get stuck in an elevator for very long.

Pam I say it often, but you’re my best friend. This year we’ve gone through a lot; I’m glad I’ve had you by my side and I look forward to what life has in store for us. Sunday, just like everyday, you were my rock. You were there and gave me what I needed…be it a kick in the pants or a hug. When I whined, you really didn’t let me get away with it. You let me chase my dreams and are there when I succeed and when I struggle. Thank you for being down at the race with the girls. I know it’s stressful for you, and it meant the world to me to have you there Sunday. I love you.

Kae and Pen You two are awesome. I know daddy runs a lot and it sometimes means I’m gone for a while on the weekend. I want you both to know that I love you both. I run so I can be around longer with you and your mom. One of the things that kept me going on Sunday was that I knew you were just ahead waiting to cheer me on. Neither of you knew I was having a bad day. Though maybe you did, and just didn’t care…you cheered like I was winning the race. I hope I showed you on Sunday that you shouldn’t give up on something when it gets tough. And so you know, I did win because I have you both and your mom in my life.

I love you both.

Dad I’m not sure where to begin. I’m glad you were here this year, and I’m glad you got your PR! You were indeed a ninja dad again! And, I must say, your twitter updates were awesome. I read the ticker Sunday night, and was amazed at how well you managed to get around the course and give updates! I think anyone who followed along online would agree! You’re a one man road crew! When you jumped in and walked with me near mile 16, well, that meant a lot. I honestly hadn’t thought about finishing until then.

You helped keep me going. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, I’m proud to call you my dad and I hope I can be a as great of a dad to Kae and Pen. I love you.

Joe I would be remiss if I left you out, Joe. You’ve been a huge help to Pam and I these last four years, and especially the last couple as I’ve trained for these two marathons. You helped with the girls when I had a long run, and have been very understanding and supportive. You were quite a sight for sore eyes on Sunday, walking back through the runners with that giant bottle of gatorade! I enjoyed walking and running that last stretch with you along side! Thank you, Joe…for everything!

Charlie and Myriah Two years, two marathons. I’m glad you two were here. Thank you for that and thanks for wandering around the city with Pam, helping keep her sane! You’re great friends and I’m thankful to have you guys in my life. Seeing you guys on the course helped! You kept the mood light, which I needed. Thank you! Charlie, 2013…if you run, I run with you.

Coach Jen Harrison You’ve been along for the ride since day 1-  for all my questions, the struggles and the milestones. I learned a lot this year! You had me ready to race; Sunday was a tough day. I think the only thing that didn’t happen Sunday was me getting hit by a segway or something similarly ridiculous. Thank you for coaching me, for pushing and challenging me and helping show me I can do anything I put my mind to.

I’m grateful for your help!

Mark, Pom and the whole gang at Runners High n Tri Seeing Mark on Sunday made me smile! Mark seems to have a knack for giving people a boost when they need one. After my second fall, there was Mark, up on a ladder shouting words of encouragement to everyone as they passed! You have been there every step of the way, and I’m grateful.

Beth Shutt You’ve helped keep me heading int he right direction nutritionally this year. When I needed help on in-race nutrition earlier this year, we dove in and started trying to figure things out. Thanks for your help!

Ashley Bond What a difference a year makes! I’m stronger and faster this year. You’ve helped me make progress this year. Not only that, but you always have advice when I need it. You keep the workouts fun while pushing me at the same time. You’re a great friend and an awesome trainer!

Steve FYI, you were #26 on my list. I’m glad we’ve been able to run together and become friends. I’m blessed to know you. I know you you were upset about continuing on. It’s OK, I told you to go. Yeah, we talked all year about running a sub 5. Things went haywire fast Sunday, and you helped get me to a med tent. I was freaking out because I didn’t know what was going on. You were calm and steady.

Next year is your big 20 for 10, and that is truly awesome! I’m looking forward to more runs together and getting that finish line pic together!

Dave I don’t know how you knew something was up on Sunday, but you did. Even though you weren’t there, you kept me going Sunday. You’re like the brother I never had, always looking out for me and there to help. I’m glad to have you as a friend.

Now stop getting hurt so we can run together again!

Lauren Thanks for meeting me in Chinatown on Sunday. I realized we hadn’t run together since mid summer last year! Far too long! I’m glad you were there cheering! Jumping in at the end was freaking awesome! You helped remind me that I love running. Thanks for that and for helping me shuffle along. By the way, the Garmin is still in my shorts pocket!

The Niles group All last year Steve kept trying to get me to come out and run with the group. Once I did this year, I regretted not doing that sooner. I know I wasn’t there every week, but when I had the chance to run with the group, it was awesome! I’ve definitely made some new friends! You guys are awesome!

My coworkers You all humored me again as I took on another marathon. If I was having a rough week or was cranky, you let it slide. You’ve supported me, helped out and were just there if I needed to vent. Thank you, and thank you for being out there on race day!

Viamedia You know you work for a great company when it feels like home, or family. Not only are my coworkers great, but Viamedia sponsored the American Heart Association Run with Heart team this year. As an employee, I’m humbled. This weekend, some of my coworkers traveled to Chicago from the Lexington, KY office to help cheer on our team. We had a space on in the Charity Block Party! At one point Sunday, my goal was to make it to them, for some high fives. I made it to see them but kept going, I got a nice kick in the pants!

I’m grateful for the support.

My social media friends Last year I counted the number of times someone read “Lt. Dan” on my shirt as Forrest Gump. It helped pass the miles, and frankly it was funny! This year I counted the number of people I saw from twitter/ facebook/ daily mile out along the course. I honestly lost count, but it felt like I saw someone on every mile! From folks along the route cheering to fellow marathoners, it was awesome. It seemed like when I needed a spark, I ran into someone. It’s funny how that works sometimes!

I learned a lot about myself on Sunday. I also learned that I’m not alone. That I have friends and family in my life who will be there no matter what. While I did the heavy lifting, they played a part and helped a lot. Like I said, I’m a lucky guy. I have a lot of people who have helped get me to where I am today.

To all of you, once again I say thank you.


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  • I think the theme "Let's Run Together" is so true! You may be one person out there running, but there's a whole team supporting you and all the other athletes out there. Thanks for remembering to thank them!

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