First Class

This past weekend, I had the honor of running the Soldier Half Marathon in Columbus, Georgia in honor of my friend John Tinsley, who died in an IED attack in Afghanistan in 2009.  While I was at the packet pickup/expo Friday night, I was waiting at the Fallen Heroes table to have them write Capt. Tinsley’s name for me to wear, when I decided that running in honor of one fallen service member was not enough.  I also ran in honor of SWO-1 Patrick Feeks, who was killed this past August in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. 

The Soldier Marathon events are first class events.  Packet pickup was at the National Infantry Museum, and it is hard to not be in awe from the second you pull into the parking lot.  I do not possess words that are appropriate enough and do justice to the Museum.  During packet pickup, as I noted above, is when I decided to run for a second Fallen Hero.  I decided to do so because I had specifically entered this race to honor my friend, and, while I did not know Patrick Feeks, I wanted to honor his service as well.

During packet pickup and during the run, I noticed several fellow runners had multiple service members they were running for as well.  I was both happy and sad to see that, because for everyone that was handwritten, I knew that there was a personal connection.  I will be honest and say that I was angry at those runners who chose to not participate in the Fallen Hero program, but that is something they will have to live with.

The run itself was just like every other half marathon I have run.  13.1 lovely miles.  What set this apart from the others, however, was the opportunity to run on Fort Benning, and take in such an awesome facility.  Runners even had the privilege of being motivated to get up some of the hills a little faster by a few Drill Instructors; they were motivational for sure.

I ran with a friend who is in the Florida National Guard.  It was his first half marathon, and I was determined to run with him the whole time.  I think we pushed each other at just the right times, and we finished side-by-side.  I have pretty much decided that I will be running this race again next year.

I was humbled after the race as we toured the Museum.  If you ever have the chance to go there, I highly recommend it.  There is an amazing display that makes you feel like you are in the last 100 yards of a Ranger assault (I got chills when I was there, and again writing about it just now).  The coolest part of the entire facility, in my opinion, was the area that was dedicated to recipients of the Medal of Honor.  The Medal of Honor is the highest and most revered honor our nation can bestow on member of our military, and I really do not even feel that I was worthy to be in the same room as one.



One Response to First Class

  1. Pingback: A Little Random « Our Not So Expert Opinions

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