- Mar. 12, 2009
- How Does Brandon Play?
A few months ago, we had a contest and asked How Do YOU Play?
Well, quite a few of you responded with stories of playing differently and how it’s not all about the win. But alas, we could only pick one grand-prize winner to join us on our annual Epiphany Ride in Napa.
Drum roll please…
Congrats to Brandon from Boulder City, Nevada who sent along a true tale of running a marathon in some sweltering conditions.
Thanks to everyone for sharing.
And now for Brandon’s running epiphany:
The race started at high noon when the mercury hit 108 degrees, and the heat radiated off of the scorching black asphalt. This was going to be a matter of will more than a matter of who had trained the most, and we had trained a lot. At the beginning of the Running with the Devil half marathon at Lake Mead, Nevada I told my dad that I would run with him until mile 5, at which point I would run at my pace. He consented knowing that he could no longer keep the 8 minute pace that he once could, and he told me not to run too hard. He loves to give out sage advice, especially when he is talking about running. Having done some 7 marathons and countless triathlons and other races, he considers himself to be a veteran of sorts. But even for a veteran, this was a race about enduring the heat. Even with the heat I still anticipated placing in the top of my age division. My aspirations to place slowly faded into the desert mirage when my dad ran out of water at mile 4 and was walking up a lengthy hill. I gave him my water, ran to the next aid station, turned around and ran toward the starting line to give my dad a fresh bottle of water. Most of the race went like that, and I did not leave my old man. He had had surgery, and the results still affected his running and ability to endure the heat like he once could, but he pushed on undeterred.
Around mile 8 he told me to push on because he would be fine by himself. I admire my dad, but my desire to meet my goal was strong. He continued to urge me forward, but I felt like I should stick with him through the race. Our pace often slowed to an easy stroll and we walked more than we ran, but he never gave up. [When] we reached the turn around, our split was almost what I had planned for the full race, but by this time dad was dehydrated. I told him that quitting this race would not be a big deal and that we could “redeem” ourselves at the St. George Utah marathon that we will be running together in October.
He looked at me and said “guys like me never quit,” and he was right. He never gave up and he eventually finished at 3:14. Now I play differently when I race. I used to care about medals and awards, but dad taught me that playing to win doesn’t make you a winner. Having enough courage to finish the race while never giving up are traits I saw in my dad. I also learned that being selfless in racing gives you more satisfaction than a medal ever will. Giving your best and never quitting make you a winner, and that is how I play now.
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- Amy, Miss Web Gal