Dad and I dropped him off at the starting area at 7:30 this morning and waited in the misty-moistness for his group to start. The Marathon Walkers started before we got there (I think) and the Half Marathon group started at 7:30, just as we arrived. T's group was slated for 8:15 and they started right on time (see the video in the picasa album above).
After seeing him off, Dad and I headed to church to pick up Nina (who wasn't in the St. Nicholas Play practice group) and we meandered to Mile 15 for another look at T. He was goin' strong! Even gave me a kiss as he breezed by (maybe the kiss was for the energy bloks I handed him)! ;)
Here is a picture near the park T ran around--the mist gave quite a dramatic effect of "into nothingness" :)
After Mile 15, we met up with Mum and the other younger kids (and Aunt Wendy and Uncle Brooks) and saw T again at Mile 18. He still looked pretty good :) (there's another video of Mile 18 on the picasa album). Aunt Wendy made a sign (which was a good thing--since the rest of his cheering squad didn't have time to make one before we left) and we all congregated to wait for Our Marathon Man. Apparently, T got lots of compliments on his well-organized cheering section. I know he appreciated us coming out and supporting him, too :) It makes all the difference in the world, sometimes... or anytime, really :)
Next stop for us was Mile 21, the end of the first long hill of the course! We all piled back into the cars and hoped and groped our way through traffic. And we made it in time! Nina and I ran up the hill with T (who had an amazing pace--we were so impressed!), and he told us later that it helped a lot. From Mile 21, for Taylor, it was "just like a jaunt into downtown Boston." 'Course, he'd never done said "jaunt" after 21 miles of running, but he was still looking pretty good. I talked to him a bit, as I ran up the hill with him, and he said he wasn't hurting at all. Good for you, My Love :)
As Mum, Dad, the 6 younger kids, and I all headed for Mile 23, the older kids (Elliott, Abby, her boyfriend Chris, and Garrett) were ready to meet T at Mile 22, just before another big hill, harder than the first. By the time we saw him at Mile 23, at the end of that hill, he was still goin' strong, but we could tell he was getting tired. I ran with him a bit more, and I think that was another time when our cheering was very important. Mum and I both got a little chocked up, seeing T work so hard.
Finally, a mad dash to the car to head toward the finish line. We just barely made it in time to see T head in--look at that nice strong finish! He passed 6 or 7 people as he charged in. I'm so glad we were able to be there for him :)
Our friend Erik, after his first marathon, told us "I finished. I puked. And then I gave a 15 minute meditation on the Passion." When T was hobbling to the car with us after the race, he said he, too, understood (just a teeny-tiny bit) more about Christ's passion: "It was really hard, but I didn't have to keep going. No one was making me do it."
Upon reflection, as I write this, I can understand (a very tiny bit) more about how Our Lady must have felt, watching her Son struggle on up the hill to Calvary. Every little bit (of understanding) helps, right? Praise God for His goodness to us in Christ!
So anyway, I'm very proud of my sweet husband :) He's quite the trooper.
WE LOVE YOU, TAYLOR!