"Friendly Encouragement" By Lisa Kay

GFM 1999 was my first. My husband and I had just run the Big Sur International Marathon in California and had a great time. I asked my husband if GFM was similar to Big Sur and he assured me that if I could do Big Sur, I would have not problem with GFM. Ha! Famous last words! This was the hardest thing I have ever attempted to do. The last few miles were torture. I was walking/running along at about mile 20 (the "I am so tired marathon shuffle") just about ready to lay down on the side of the road and wait for a car to run over me (which would have been an improvement) when a man ran up behind me with some encouraging words. He made a bargin with me to run and walk to the finish assuring me that we were going to make it. Make it we did and as we approached the track, he told me this was the best part of the race and made me go ahead of him. It was indeed the best part, the crowd was wonderful and I cried as I crossed the fininsh line so thankful to be able to stop. I will never forget this friend I met along my way. Thanks so much if you are out there, I hope to see you again this year. Why yes, of course I am going to do it again.