Saturday, October 30, 2010

When did this become a tradition?

Hoorah, is a phrase I only hear once a year, but when I do, I know there's a wicked experience on the way.

"Are you a Marine?" the U.S. Customs officer asked me the other day when I was telling him I was running the Marine Corps Marathon.

No, I said, and gave him my reasoning of why I would run a race run by the Marines. "It's my fourth and one of my favourites."

It has never been my fastest marathons, and although it has gotten perfect weather it has become that second marathon of the fall season. No pressure, big crowds and a memorable finish. I always find myself inspired, from the Marines who man the volunteer stations to the wheelchair and amputee runners who amaze us all. The field attracts a wide field of runners, many of then first timers.

My fourth will be much like my third, done at a comfortable pace not really racing, but one can only get inspired to run just a little faster at the end if you have enough left. It is on that day, you will hear the words Sir and Ma'am, uttered by a polite serviceman. And no matter your views of war, warfare or military, it is an honor when one Marine respectably cracks a smile, puts a medal around your neck, and salute your efforts, you can hear yourself softly say 'Hoorah'.

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