"My Brothers Marathon" by Marie George

I have run many marathons before, but this one was more of a quest, something I had to do. My brother and I had planned on running a marathon together, the San Diego race was tossed around a few times. We were going to do it 'sometime' in the future, no rush, just sometime. He was killed in a plane crash August 9, 2000. He died and left behind four little girls, family members, dreams and plans. I had not run a race since then. After his funeral, my other brother brought me back an item of his. I just wanted some little keep sake. Well, wrapped up in a plastic bag was his running shoes. OK, now what do I do with them. They sat in my closet for a while, then in the living room, then under a chair. A constant reminder of what he did not get a chance to do, of what we did not get a chance to do together. So I got angry enough and looked for a mean, hard, race. I found Grandfather Mountain. I trained harder than I had for any other race. When the runs were long and the hills were steep, I called on my brother to get me over them. I drove the race course on Friday and was very taken back. What if I didn't finish? What if I failed. I told my mother that I was going to take Angelo to the top of that mountain, and I just had to. On race day, I took his shoes and ran. I ran with what I thought would be a vengeance. But, it was not like that. I felt great, I felt powerful. I had just wanted to finish the race, but now I wanted to do it well. I ran ''with' my brother the whole time. People around me must have wondered who I was talking to when the hills got tough. When I saw the Oasis water stop and then the Angel water stop, I thought how much he would have appreciated it. So, we finished the race, in 4 hours and 35 minutes. I took him to the top of the mountain with me. When the medal was placed around my neck, I felt him there. I had a picture taken of me with that medal and his shoes, that I plan on giving to our mom so she too sees that Angelo made it to the races. Thank you for a race that was hard, but never mean. Thanks for a race that meant much more than you will ever know.