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My Story - Rebecca Williams

Rebecca J. WilliamsRebecca Willismas“Preparing and training for this marathon was an all-consuming endeavor, not just for me, but for my family as well–particularly for my husband. As the race date approached I knew I wasn’t as in shape as I was hoping to be. I determined in my heart that I would finish, no matter what, because I worked too long and hard to get to this point, and I needed to see it through.

The race started, and I was feeling really good. It was awesome running the first three miles in the pack along with those doing the half marathon. Then at mile three we split off. The half marathon runners turned right, and I turned left. I was alone on the course, and there was no one behind me. At mile six I encountered one of the cheer teams who cranked up their tunes and busted their moves and celebrated as I ran by them. It was awesome!

At about mile 8 I caught up to an elderly gentleman also running the marathon. His body was bent, and I guessed he was around 80, I eventually passed him.

I made my way to a flat part of the course. The flatness was welcome after the hills; however, someone decided to turn up the wind machine and I was beaten and battered.

I knew there was a long downhill part coming up, and I was planning on picking up my pace. This would be miles 17-18. Here, the older guy caught up with me and passed me. I later found out the older guy was actually 87-years old, and this was his 325th marathon!!

Around mile 20 I hit the infamous wall. The wall is real. Everything hurt. I thought I was going to collapse. I didn’t want to drink. Six more miles. Would I make it?

My husband decided to join me on the course for the final six miles, and he was welcome company. I won’t talk about the annoying golf cart on my heels who was assigned to follow the final runner. Okay, I did, but that’s all I’m going to say about that.

We were approaching the end, and I couldn’t believe what I saw–another hill. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” The volunteer said, “This is your last hill.” I replied, “Promise?”

I saw the scaffolding of what once was the finish line (the FINISH banner was already taken down and put away), but I was filled with new strength and energy and ran again. Everyone working on tearing the finish area down stopped what they were doing and cheered me on.

In the days following, I was stunned to learn that my story was shared with hundreds of people through Facebook…all inspired by my effort. I wondered if I was in the shape I was hoping to be in, would I have had this kind of impact? I realize that people were inspired because I struggled through and didn’t give up.”

Read other Mankato Marathon Inspirational Runner Stories

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