Oh holy God. I swear I thought I was going to die at some point during this race! The hills were incredible. This really was a challenge. I’m not sure if I would have known how challenging it was if I would have done it, but I”m glad I did.

I certainly wasn’t out there to break any records – just have fun and finish! My official time was 51:30 – which was under my goal of 60 minutes. I can’t thank my friend Laura enough for being such a cheerleader. I know I slowed her down, but she totally kept me going!

Me & Laura - damn, I'm short!
Me & Laura – damn, I’m short!
ready to run!

ready to run!

Since this run was in honor of Pfc. Ryan Jerabek, USMC, who died in Iraq in 2004, there were lots of Marines there from his unit. It was tear-jerking at moments to hear Ryan’s dad talk, so I tried not to listen much – the tears came WAY too easily! So, I’m glad I didn’t see these pictures until after I got done. Hubby took them for me.

Marines from 2/4 - yes, they ran 4 miles with that flag.

Marines from 2/4 - yes, they ran 4 miles with that flag.

Another group who ran in formation - and combat boots.

Another group who ran in formation - and combat boots.

Laura hung with me until about the last 3/4 mile. Then I had to take a quick break and told her to go ahead. Her little girl, Bella, ran with her across the finish line.

Laura coming to the finish line

Laura coming to the finish line

Laura & Bella finishing the race

Laura & Bella finishing the race

Me, I caught up with this little man, Collin, and told him he had to make sure I didn’t stop until we got to the finish line. He totally kept me going.

Me finishing

Me finishing

ew, sweat much?

ew, sweat much?

WHEW! Finished!

WHEW! Finished!

And, to round out this post … I have to share with you the one woman on this run who was a TOTAL inspiration … She ran every step of those 4 miles – hills and all! I’m just kickin’ myself for not getting her name. But I tell you what, she certainly won’t be forgotten in my mind – ever.

Total inspiration!

Total inspiration!

***Updated to add*** I totally forgot that I had Scott scan in these photos … apparently I DID run a race before – I must have been about 8 here.

Jess running - circa 1988ish

Jess running - circa 1988ish

How freakin’ cute was I? πŸ™‚

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