completing the st jude half marathon has been on my list for many years, and this year i finally did it. every year on the first saturday of december, more than 20,000 runners and walkers take to the streets of downtown and midtown memphis to run for a cause — supporting st jude children’s research hospital, one of the world’s leading hospitals for researching and treating childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
i have written many times about how important st jude is to me and to the memphis community, and the st jude memphis marathon weekend is always one of the best weekends of the year. i participated in the 5k two years ago, and last year i ran my 5k in calcutta on the eve of priyanka and deboo’s wedding. knowing that i would be back in memphis for this year’s festivities, i decided to kick it up a notch, registering for the half and pledging to raise $1500 as a hero.
i admittedly did not do well with my training the last 6 weeks before the race, which is really my own fault. between a sinus infection, beginning a new job, the time change, a sudden burst of cool weather, and moving to a new house, i was not able to get myself into gear and prep for those 13.1 miles, but i was determined to finish nonetheless.
luckily for me, steve was in a similar boat. he hadn’t trained fully for the race, so we promised one another that we would stick together and help the other get to the end. we laughed, we chatted, we sang, and we did everything we could to distract each other for the duration. it was cold, it was rainy, and i had cramps and blisters and a sore foot, but you know what?
it took us around 3 hours 25 minutes to get to the finish line, but the point is that we made it. we made a promise to st jude and to those who donated that we would complete 13.1 miles, and that is exactly what we did. we got each other through, and i can honestly say i would not have made it without steve by my side.
and as proud as i am to have completed the course, i think from now on it might be the 10k for me 🙂