Man talk about your crazy, busy, chaotic summer! It seems like after the Pittsburgh Marathon, I never stopped running. I mean, why would I? There was much to do, and miles to run. But, I'll save those stories for another day.
It's funny. When I look back trying to think about why I decided to run a marathon, I'm not really sure. All of a sudden I've now run two. But here I am, out of Pittsburgh in another great city and another favorite of mine about to attempt my third: The Chicago Marathon.
This year happens to be the 40th Anniversary of this fine race, and I get to be a part of it. When that really sinks in, it hits me in the feels (not really a noun.) Driving here to Frankie's kinda town, I had nothing but a cheek to cheek grin on my face. My friend Kirsten and I pretty much jammed out to everything we could in the 7 hours and 20 minutes it took us to get here, and before we knew it, we were checked into our hotel.
I don't want to talk too much about my training leading up to this point or even the weekend this far, but I did want to be sure to do what I've done twice now and dedicate all of my miles. I feel that every step I take means something to me, but I also like it when each step means something to someone else.
Since I'm in another city, I wanted to bring a part of home with me while running on Sunday. Sure I have my Terrible Towel, but why wouldn't I? (Most of us never travel without it.) But, I needed some else, something more. I wanted another way to bring Pittsburgh with me. So, like I've done in the past I'd like to dedicate my miles so that they mean as much to someone else as much as they do me. This also helps to make some of you a part of what I'm doing on October 8th, 2017. I don't just run for me. I run for you, and for those that can't. We're in this together after all, and not just in Chicago, but in this life as well.
Mile 1 - Mrs. Donna Koffler, Lou Majetic, and Cy Clark. You will always have my first mile. Always.
Mile 2 - My cousin Bobby Hull and his family. They lost their home in the Jacksonville Floods, and are doing OK and in very good spirits. It will take time to recover, but he and his family are doing just fine. He's a Hull, after all. (I would have used a picture of you here Bobby, but your Facebook page has nothing but Pittsburgh sports Memes on it, and I can't find what I took over the summer.)
Mile 5 - Jimmy Spagnolo. Jimmy, you may not be old enough to understand just how much you've touched the lives of me and my friends in such a short period of time. You are one of a kind, and our hero. Keep on rocking, and keep on dancing Jimmy.
Most of my miles I wanted to dedicate to some who had left us whether it was this year or perhaps a little while ago. They remain in the hearts of those that love them every day, and are thought about fondly and quite often. May they all RIP in the heavens above.
Mile 6 - My old co-worker Virginia Petre's brother Jimmy. RIP Jimmy
Mile 7- George Brinser. George was the stepfather of a friend from high school, Dave Johnson. RIP Mr. Brinser. Dave and the rest of the family miss you a great deal, but know you are watching over them.
Mile 8 - Kevin Russell. Kevin was the cousin of a former co-worker, Susan Douglas. Another taken from this world too soon, may he also RIP.
|Mary Yakima, RIP|
Mile 9 - Tom Salada. I never met Tom, but I'm good friends with his daughter Dana and niece Stephanie (two of my running buddies.) Tom had passed a few years ago, but he is far from forgotten. I enjoy running with your family Tom. Want to run this one along side me, too?
Mile 10 - Mary Yakima. My neighbor all the years I grew up. One of the nicest and sweetest people one could ever wish to have. RIP Mary.
Mile 11 - Jason Bufalini. Jason's Cousin Cassandra works at the Hangar and she always takes good care of me and the boys in the band when we play. Jason was her cousin, but more like a brother. He is thought of fondly and he too is looking down upon her and the rest of his family. RIP Jason.
Mile 12 - Tom Petty. 'nuff Said.
Mile 13 - Barbara Lantzy. I didn't know Barbara personally, but graduated with her son Chris and daughter in law Barbie. RIP. Mrs. Lantzy.
mile 14 - Stephen V. Brooks. I've been friends with Danielle and Stephen a long time Their father Stephen passed away earlier this year. I was fortunate enough to meet him a few times. RIP Mr. Brooks.
|Leverette "Dade" Weir|
Mole 16 - Richie Recker. Ray, I know I've never met your brother, and I know that you miss him a lot. May he too, RIP.
Mile 17 - Joanne Karas. I used to work with Joanne's son Jason when I DJed at the boardwalk. I only met her once, and she was so awesome. I talked to her for a good couple of hours. We just talked and laughed. She was awesome and a sweetheart. RIP Joanne. Watch over Jason and the rest of the boys in blue serving our great city.
Mile 18 - Geri Jamison. Geri is the Grand Aunt of one of my closest friends, Bryan Benson. I've met a lot of Bryan's family and I know I've probably met Aunt Geri as well. RIP Geri. You lived a long and wonderful life.
Mile 19 - Bill Wolfe Jr. Bill was the cousin-in-law to one of my shipmates on The Abraham Lincoln, Sam Myers. Bill was taken from his family far too soon, and one of the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. I know Sam knows this, but if you need any of us from V-3, don't hesitate to ask. RIP Bill.
Mile 20 - Mary Peterson. Mary was the mother of one of my shipmates, Maggie Arriola. Maggie, who was like a big sister to so many of us while we served, lost her mother just a few weeks ago. I never got to meet most of the families of those I served with, but in that short period of time, these people were my family (then, now, and forever.) It's never easy when you lose a parent, but I hope that Maggie knows she and her mom will be in my thoughts while I run mile 20.
This is the point of a race where I start to reach my breaking point. I always am in need of some more inspiration to keep going, and more energy. I know right where to get it, too.
Mile 21 - Trever and Anna Booher. Thank you for having me be a part of your special day, and congratulations. Wanna run this mile with me? But we gotta do it in our underwear because that's normally the only time we run together. #cupidundierun Congratulations and many years of happiness to the both of you.
|Mr. And Mrs. Booher|
|Mr. and Mrs. Lewis|
|God we were so young.....|
|Connor Gerard Schaefer, born August 26th, 2017|
|Bianca Sloan Hamstead, born|
October 6th, 2017
Almost there.... only .2 to go, and of course I'll save that for the honorable mentions. It's no secret how much I love the show, The Goldbergs. It reminds me so much of growing up in the 80s and always hits you right in the heart at the end of every episode. October 8th just also happens to be the birthday of the real life Beverly Goldberg, and October 10th for the woman that portrays her on TV, Wendi McLendon Covey (who deserves an Emmy.) I know it's not a full mile, but I don't think they'd want to run a full mile anyway. But, if you would actually do a mile, I'd hope it would be mile 23 with my sister and I.
26.2 miles is a long way to go, especially when you're left with mostly nothing but your thoughts. In my thoughts will be all of you. Let's do this.
Chuck Hull, The Running Jedi
#lovetherun #runningjedi #runchicago #chicagomarathon2017
PS: I will be running for the Mario Lemieux foundation once more for the Pittsburgh Marathon in 2018. I've got special plans for that, so stay tuned for the fun (it may involve a certain suit that is in my possession!) (click the link below if you'd like to donate and/or bookmark to donate at a later time.)