A Tale of Two Marathons

The countdown clock to the right now shows that I have a single digit count of days left before the Marine Corps Marathon.  The past week has been a roller coaster of emotions, driven primarily by the uncertainty that this race would even happen.  Though I try to avoid immersing myself in political news, ignoring the words government and shutdown has been impossible.  Friends lost out on their chance to run a local favorite, the Towpath Marathon, in mid-October. Why?  Because the race course is full of national park trails. With the Towpath suspended, then postponed, I warily watched the Marine Corps Marathon website for news of a potential cancellation.  The Marines simply encouraged their runners to remain Semper Fi, or “always faithful,” to their training.  Vague, but encouraging words.  And then the dreaded day arrived:  October 15th. MCM published the following terrifying message:

Dear Runners,

Since the government shutdown occurred, the Marine Corps Marathon continues its coordination with hopes of a conclusion in time to host the event without impact. Without a resolution to the government shutdown this week, the MCM as planned is in jeopardy of being cancelled.
While still considering and exploring all possible options, the MCM has targeted this Saturday, October 19 as the date to officially notify runners of the status of the event. It is sincerely the hope of everyone associated with the organization of this event that MCM participants can run as planned.

My heart was broken.  I’ve been dreaming of running this race, in one of my favorite cities in the world, for over 6 months.  I’ve trained my heart out, booked my strategically-located hotel, made babysitting arrangements, scheduled a personal day off of work to make the ride home. The idea that my marathon opportunity would slip by sent me in to full-on panic mode.  I cracked open my lap top and began another mission.  Locate new marathon, as close to my original marathon date, as soon as possible.  Lo and behold, the Towpath was still taking registrations for its new running date of November 3rd. Government shut down still in effect?  Then it would be November 10th.  Sold.  I paid my registration fee without even thinking twice.  I did not come this far to lose the chance to race this distance, and who knew what contingency plans would go in to effect if MCM had to be canceled?

And then, just like that, the government got it together.  And MCM posted the following video that made my heart happy again!  On.  So on.

And that, my friends, is how I ended up registered for two marathons in the same week. Will it happen?  I think so.  Why the hell not?  I don’t shy away from a challenge.  I’ll have an incredible story to tell when it’s all said and done.  And that’s what life is all about.