Three letters I really don’t like!
Three letters I really don’t like…..DNF
In the running world it means Did Not Finish.
Well I would rather see a runner get out there and give it their All! No runner decides to have a DNF. At least not me! There are two races that I didn’t reach the finish line. Do I like that, heck no! Are there reasons why, absolutely.
Last year I ran my first marathon Marine Corps Marathon. I was running in honor of a Fallen Hero SPC Joey Riley, hometown Hero of Grove City OH. I asked his parents for their permission to run this race and honor him!
Training for my first had many firsts. I’ve never done over 14 miles before. And training between living in OH and FL.
Many emotions I carried with me on my runs! I attended Joey Riley’s retun home ceremony, 3 years ago. I rode in the van with some of his family members. I listened to them sharing their love for Joey! The long procession back to Grove City from Rickenbacker Air Force base was a very quite one for me. I sat in the front and watched strangers waving the American Flag as they watched a soldier being brought home. I heard them say “we never want Joey forgotten”
2016 came and I decided to run the MCM so Joey wouldn’t be forgotten!
The journey to DC. I flew out by myself, Aaron would meet me there as he was flying back from Spain!
Race morning couldn’t been more prettier! The sunrise over Arlington National Cemetery is more beautiful than I could describe. The race began and I was proud to be in the crowd. My race bib was a special one from Races2Remeber. I sent them a photo of Joey and they put it into my bib! I wore it so others would see this Hero! As runners passed me they would say “thank you for running for SPC Joey Riley” or just a touch of their hand on my shoulder!
My finish line came to a end at Mile 18! I had a medical issue. I cried and cried! It’s not the Finish Line I was looking for. Not the one I trained for. The medical team was amazing. They reached Aaron by phone. They let Aaron know where I was. Sadly it wasn’t too far from where Aaron was waiting for me on the route. My biggest supporter, a girl could ask for. Always waiting for me at the Finish Line. So I guess Mile 18th Finish Line was no different, Aaron was there!
We were escorted back to our hotel by 6 Marines in a military van, made me feel pretty special. Had to find something to feel good about! My first and only communication was to Mrs. Riley. Sad to let her know that I didn’t cross the official finish line! Her words were sweet and ones I will never forget! “You ran 18 miles for Joey! He was with you”
So instead of DNF, I like RIHOFH to remember my race! Running In Honor of Fallen Heroes 🇺🇸
I came back home and finished those last miles for Joey, and myself!
This display box is at Roosters in Grove City.