There is more that I need to tell you about my friend Michael. In the last nine years? He's been running. A lot. He's run so many marathons and triathalons that he's lost count. He's run the Comrades race in Africa multiple times. During the Chicago Marathon this year he ran 100 miles with three others, the last 26.2 miles of which was the marathon course. HOLY CRAP is right. He is, uh, athletic to say the least. He runs fast marathons. There is no chance (unless I wake up one morning and am miraculously an elite athlete) that he and I would ever run a marathon together. Because over the last nine years? I've become a (round) wife and mother. I've been busying myself doing important stuff like eating tacos and perfecting my butter cake and not running and not working out too hard. Ahem.
There is no chance we'd end up running a marathon together unless? He's running the race with his friend Paul (also a veteran of Comrades and a person who ran 50 of the 100 miles in Chicago last year) and a walkie-talkie specifically to keep in touch with a film crew who is using my husband as their subject. Unless? My husband has decided to run the marathon at MY (stupid knee's) pace because we knew at the outset that we'd be running this race together. And it was SUPER helpful that the film crew was hoping that we'd run about an 11-minute mile pace so that certain people could be at certain places at certain times to get the footage they needed.
So, FINALLY, why the film crew: During the race a production and film crew was making two promotional spots for Team World Vision (the same people who made the "Why I Run" video I have featured on this blog). Through a series of events, John was chosen to be the subject of the video. Here's my summary of the reasons why they chose him:
1. He looks exactly like the actor who plays Captain America.
2. He was running his first marathon (part of the "story" of one of the spots).
3. They didn't have to pay him because he's already on the payroll. Ba-dum-dum!
4. Professional actors in LA are NOT CHEAP.
5. He is one of the most facially expressive people on the planet. Also he is very handsome (see #1).
6. He said yes. And also volunteered his wife and children to be in the shoot.
ANYWAY! That's why we ran with a film crew. And yes I am probably also going to be on television too (which is why I am SO GLAD I was grimacing and scowling in PAIN the whole time and also why I am so glad no one told me to FIX MY HAIR, which was sticking out of my hat all weird, ahem. But my kids will probably also be on television and at least THEY look super cute). More on that when the project is finished and televised, which is probably a long way away.
And so it happened that I would be running my first marathon with the person that got me to run my first half marathon nearly a decade ago. The person who first showed me how to do what I have been called to do and the person who brought us into Team World Vision a year ago.
Full circle is the only way to describe it. And that cold morning? I was suddenly recharged and AMPED to run the race.
Finally we packed up the tent into the truck and wandered over to the start line. The sea of people was crazy. Everyone stood around blowing into their hands and smiling and jumping from foot to foot in anticipation.
I hugged my husband about a million times. I ate a Gu. I exclaimed that "I couldn't believe I was about to do this!" about 65 times. I walked ahead at an appropriate distance while footage was shot of John. And then, with our friends (and a film crew! Weird!), we began what was about to be a long, long six hours.