Monday, October 4, 2010

Leavenworth Marathon Relay

This past weekend was our annual team relay, the Leavenworth Oktoberfest Marathon. First thing in the morning, our carpool of racers dropped off Michelle and I to pick up the packet, and get her to the starting point (she was the first leg of the race). Walking through the madness, I ran into Steve, the editor from the Wenatchee World who wrote a pretty amazing article about me (which I feel was too nice). It was wonderful to see him, and I gave him a huge hug. He instantly said, "Hey, have you met Ted's wife Lynda?" I shook her hand, and almost stopped breathing. I was so honored to meet her. It was a simple, quick greeting, and we were both on our way. That chance meeting set the tone for the entire race for me. 

Side note: Ted Finegold and a buddy started the Leavenworth Marathon and Wenatchee Marathon. He was also an attorney that worked with my girlfriends here in Wenatchee, and a close family friend of another of my girlfriends. He passed away this summer after losing his battle with cancer. Everyone I know from Wenatchee has at least one story about how amazing Ted was. Even though I wasn't lucky enough to have met him, I've definitely been inspired by him. Here's a wonderful article about Ted to know more about who he was.

Last year, during the relay, our group was a wild tornado of adrenaline and debauchery. I think costumes have a way of doing that to a person. This year, my life is completely different. As I was running the second leg of the race, looking around at the "Ted" shirts, was overwhelming. Before I knew it, I was crying as I ran. I couldn't help it.  

I was incredibly touched by a man who had impacted hundreds, even thousands of people. He was young, only 43. He had a family, two children, and an absolutely gorgeous wife (from what I hear she's beautiful in personality too). The t-shirts that my friends were wearing said, "I run for Ted," and as I saw another shirt along the trail, I thought, "You know what Ted, you don't know me, but I'm running for you too. And your wife. And your children." Then I started to cry again.

There are people who don't even know that they're impacting the lives of others. I've ran in six of Ted's races, and at the time, I had no idea who he was. I'll never forget how powerful life is, and how powerful his life was. I'm incredibly grateful for Ted's life. His story is an inspiration to me. 

After running my leg of the race, I was standing with a group of friends cheering on the runners. I happened to look over, and see Lynda walking away hand-in-hand with her child; it absolutely broke my heart. In fact, it made me start crying again. I wish there was no such thing as loss. I wish that people didn't disappear so soon. I can't even fathom how hard that would be.

Operation Grab-A-Stein

My Wenatchee Girls

1 comment:

  1. Hey! I looked for you on Saturday, but there were so many people (which was awesome) I didn't see you. Nice job on the relay, I love your costumes. I never met Ted either, but like you have run in many of his races. If it weren't for him I probably never would have run a half marathon. It was an awesome experience to run for Ted on Saturday. I am happy you were able to do the same thing. Very bittersweet.

    Hugs - Sara


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