There is one race each year that I know no matter what I will be at. It is not one I run, but rather one I volunteer at. My loyalty to this race has allowed me to meet some of the coolest, down to earth, living running legends around.
It happens at the beginning of April every year….
I get an email from the race director telling me who the honored guest is and would I like to pick him or her up from the airport the day before the race and transport them to their hotel. For any normal person they would consider themselves a taxi service, but to me this is an amazing opportunity to have one on one time with people I read about in books. Runners I dream about. I literally freak out every time I get said email.
I am a running geek and love it.
This year I had the honor of meeting [and transporting] Dick Beardsley. If you do not know who he is, you should. He among many other things, was the 2nd place finisher of the 1982 Boston Marathon, an epic race that has gone down in history as one of the most famous Boston finishes ever. I will not tell you the story of this race, rather I will tell you to run to your closest Barnes and Noble and pick up a copy of a book about this race, Duel In The Sun. He is an amazing person and runner who overcame ALL sorts of crazy odds, including addiction of the worst sort, and to top it all off he is STILL the 5th fastest American born marathoner of all time! His life story is beyond inspiring.