Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hail Meb too.

You will remember my friend Ashley. She is a running buddy of mine who moved to Nashville a couple of years ago.

In 2006, Ashley paced me the last ten miles to my then-PR at the NYCM. She also enabled me to finish the infamous Chicago 26.2 mile "Fun Run" in 2007 by finding me walking disconsolately at MP 24, barely ahead of the No-More-Running Police who were out on the course, and jogging me the rest of the way in. (I was sick when I ran that marathon, which didn't help with the 90 degree heat that day.) I hated her for the 17 minutes it took us to go the last two miles, but loved her afterwards for finding me and bringing me home.

Overcoming a continuing spate of injuries, and despite a current injury, Ashley ran her first marathon last weekend at the NYCM. She threw down a 4:14 while thoroughly enjoying her run, stopping to take pictures, text, high-five people, etc. She feels she could have gone faster (she was injured) but that's a good ground floor if she continues on in marathoning.

She had a wonderful experience, and who wouldn't at the NYCM? It is my favorite marathon, bar none. But there's more to the story.

Two posts ago I indicated how excited I was to hear that an American had won at New York for the first time since 1982. An American, Meb Keflezighi, who ran shoulder-to-shoulder with the best Kenyan in the world at MP 24 and then vanquished him in Central Park. Meb won convincingly in a PR of 2:09:15.

In my post, I included a picture of me with Meb a few days after he ran a sub-2:10 at this year's London Marathon. Meb is back.

At a post-race party in New York, Ashley met Meb herself. She said it was utterly thrilling. Ashley is the one on the left.


Ashley said...

Thanks Peter. I was happy to bring you home in both those races, and you were with me in spirit out there on Sunday. My preview of the race with you a few years ago prepared me for some of the best moments out there, so this time, it was my chance to memorialize them. You're right, that is the best race, bar none. Something I'll never be able to relive. Hope you watched the videos I had posted too -- Meb seemed nothing but humble, and his comeback story is one for the books. I couldn't be prouder to be a part of that race. Thanks again for all your encouragement!

Petraruns said...

Wow! All of it. Wow! Ashley - this is karma working its way to you. You will do great and the future is bright for you all. And Meb - I love him. And Derartu! What sportsmanship and what comeback stories!

Ashley said...

By the way, Peter, I'm probably going to enter the lottery again for next year. You in?