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2020 Virtual Providence Marathon Finisher!

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This weekend was supposed to be the Providence Marathon but as we all know the world is turned upside down and the race had to be cancelled. Despite the race trying to reschedule for later in the year, the organizers could not lock in a new weekend in the fall so the Providence Marathon moved to a virtual edition.

This morning it was time to put the training to the test and tackle 26.2 miles. I decided to stay close to home and run the 26.2 miles through Bridgewater, Massachusetts, where I live. The weather was proving to be a great day for running with temperatures in the high 40’s when I started off and ending around 60 degrees and sunny at the time of finish. All things considered, a great day for a run!

Overall, I knew today was going to be a different kind of run and finishing the 26.2 miles was the goal. I felt quite strong the first 18 miles or so but then hit the wall pretty hard. Fortunately, Mrs. Running Griffin met me at mile 22 with some Nuun and I started to bounce back quite a bit. I finished the Virtual 2020 Providence Marathon with a time of 4:51:07, good for 11:07/miles. Not my best marathon, no my worst. I’ll take it!

Running a solo marathon is an interesting journey. All the benefits of a true marathon ranging from fans to aid stations along the way make a huge difference. A motivational “you got this” can go a long way. A random band, a good cheer, a funny sign. All not there today.

But even without those items, I had a couple other things to keep me going today along the 26.2 mile course. First, the amazing Mrs. Running Griffin and our two girls drove and met me at different part of the course and provided an inspirational beep (at times excessive, but appreciated), tossed me water or Nuun and smiled and clapped. They also were a huge support system during training runs and helped continue to keep me motivated.

Next, thanks to people around Bridgewater who recognized me, gave a friendly wave or a beep. It was great to see some friends and family out on the course from time to time and despite there not being throngs of people lining the course like an official marathon, I am grateful to those who helped make today’s run special. A couple water bottles for me out on the course thanks to some friends was awesome and seeing how people would smile and wave brought a smile to my own face.

Lastly, and most importantly, the other thing that kept me moving today was thoughts of my dad and a deep appreciation for all of those who donated to The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition in support of my marathon run and in honor of my dad who is currently battling MSA.

After I finished the run, I called my dad and he thanked me for running to which I noted, “It’s the least I can do; but, just about the most my calves can do.” As I was on my run, I reflected upon how tackling 26.2 miles is no small effort but when compared to battling MSA with the heroic might my father is, running a marathon is nothing. And if putting one foot in front of the other for 26.2 miles can help rally people to awareness of MSA and in so doing can help raise more than $5,700 for The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition then each pang, blister or destroyed sneaker I currently have is all quite worth it.

Thank you to everyone who donated to The MSA Coalition; it means the world to me and my family. If you are interested, in making a post-run donation to cheer on finishing the marathon please click here.

Not how I drew up running the Providence Marathon but when life hands you lemons, don’t suck. I’m a 2020 Virtual Providence Marathon finisher!

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