"Why POP ?" BY Matt Thompson (Blackshear, GA)

My dad asked me why I feel I have to do these, as we drove the course Friday night. My answer was the same that I have given him my entire life to most of his questions-"I don't know Pop". I saw some interesting things on race day. The kinds of things that occupy your mind for 4-plus hours. I saw a young boy leading the race as it started on the track. I smiled and thought to myself, "He probably just wants to be able to tell his friends that he lead the race once." That kid ended up in the top twenty. I saw two young ladies warming up, wearing hydration packs that must have had like 8 pounds of water in them. I smiled and thought they probably just want to tell their friends that they participated in a marathon. I saw those women finishing in some heavy traffic and wanted to get off the shuttlle and stop cars for them. I saw "Coatman" at my hotel carrying what looked like a homemade bottle rocket. I smiled and knew everything would be allright. I stopped in the woods whenever nature called (only twice) and felt bad for the women who couldn't do the same. I smiled when I thought about my dad somewhere at the finish worrying about me. I smiled when I heard bagpipes. I knew it was the Highland Games, even though my Grandma had warned me that on this run, if I heard bagpipes, it would be St. Peter coming for me. I smiled the biggest at the finish, when I asked my 6-year old son what he thought about me running up this mountain. He said, "I don't know, pop".