Running for Warriors

I picked up my packet today for the Tobacco Road half-marathon. Driving in Cary is still hell, but the t-shirts and logo for this year’s race are 5,000% better than last year. And the medal is freakin’ HUGE.

I’m running this race without my support staff…and I probably won’t stick around at the finish for a tasty adult beverage. (I did get a commemorative pint glass to which I’ll add my own mirth and jocularity later, I’m sure.) I’ll be alone for probably all of my 13.1 miles.

And yet, I’m still motivated to do this one.

Last year, I ran several races, including the Warrior Dash in Georgia. The Dash was more of a fun romp through the mountain area with an obstacle course and entertaining costumes thrown in. This weekend I’m doing a different kind of warrior event. Proceeds from this year’s Tobacco Road Marathon and Half-Marathon go to The Wounded Warrior Project. I had the goal of running a race as a Project benefit last year, but it didn’t work out for me then. So I’m doing tomorrow.

Thinking about doing this race solo reminds me that these wounded warriors leave our soil as one person and return from someone else’s soil a different individual. Though they are surrounded by those they love and who love and care for them, the road to recovery is often long, hard, painful and lonely. And who knows when they cross the finish line to recovery…or how many finish lines they will cross along the way. And so, early tomorrow morning, I will join a long, hard, exhausting and lonely road–no longer chasing down a new PR but finishing one leg of a journey for me…and for them. Mostly for them.

Thank you to the many brave men and women who make the choice to live a life of service to our country, even at a high cost to themselves and the people they love.

This is why I run.

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