Des Moines Marathon, Iowa
Number of Runners: 35
Weather: 68 degrees, partly cloudy
The weather today was perfect for running, but the people were even better. The stories I’m hearing continue to astound me: A runner who flew down from Alaska to run the Des Moines Marathon with us, a surgeon who cleared his morning to run, and had patients starting at 3:00 PM (with a two-hour drive back to the office), a Pastor who leads a congregation of runners, and collectively probably more than 1,000 lbs shed between the group, including one runner who had lost 150 lbs!
At mile 10 the course does a lap around the famous Drake University track, and standing there to meet us were the Drake University Mascot and fifty elementary school students from nearby schools. The kidsran the lap around the track with us, cheering and high-fiving much of the way. I’ll never forget a quote from one little boy who I complemented on his swift pace, “Mr. Karnazes,” he said between pants, “I run like I mean it.”
Plenty of people lined the route and rooted us on as we passed through the streets of Des Moines. The pace today was way faster than predicted, but the entire group seemed to work well together, feeding off each others energy. We probably would have gone even faster had there not been such lively banter between us the entire 26.2 miles.
Remarkably, five first-time marathoners crossed the line! Not all came in at 4:06:33, but impressively they weren’t that far behind.
Upon crossing the finish line, we were met by the Major of Des Moines, Franklin Cownie, who presented me with a City of Des Moines Proclamation for hosting, “An event that will help transform Des Moines into a healthier, more pleasant community in which to live and work.”
If the thirty-five runners I met out there today are any indication, the community is well on its way. Keep running like you mean it!
All the best,