[Editor’s note: Persephone Magazine sends its thoughts and love out to Boston this afternoon. I wrote this post after completing this event two days ago. Knowing that events like this will probably never be the same breaks my heart. Our namesake Persephone lives in the greater Boston area, and we are sending her, her family, and their community extra hugs today. ~Sally J.]
This weekend my girlfriends and I embarked on a new venture – a relay marathon. It gave me a chance to be a part of something bigger than what I could do by myself. It also benefited the organization, Back on My Feet, which specializes in helping people through running.
This relay marathon took place at White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis. The route was 2.2 miles, which means after 12 laps, a marathon has been completed (with an extra .2 to spare). This particular event offered the options of registering as an individual runner (all 12 laps! by yourself!) or as a member of team. Teams could be comprised of 2, 3, 4, or 6 individuals. I was on a six-person team, and ready to fulfill my 16.67% of the distance.
We met in the spectator zone, ready with chairs, blankets, snacks, and enthusiasm.
Here’s the thing. Even though our team of six enthusiastic walkers were enthusiastic, it was still 26.2 miles. It was a cloudy and blustery day, so our waiting time was spent under blankets, wondering if spring would ever come. Our team of runners completed their route in about 4 hours and 30 minutes. The walkers were still looking at another 90 minutes when we noticed that most of the other teams were done. The spectator zone was clearing out, the food trucks went home, and we realized we were the only walking team left. So we went to plan B – the last three walkers on our team completed their second lap together- clocking in 6.6 miles all at once. Woot! We were awarded our medals, even though we didn’t end up with an “official” time.
Walking a relay marathon is not an unrealistic goal, the weather just needs to be nice enough to make all of the waiting comfortable. After completing the event today, I’m beginning to even wonder if I could possibly even run parts of a relay marathon in the future. 2.2 miles at a time is reasonable distance for a beginning runner. Time will tell.
A portion of today’s proceeds benefited Back on My Feet Indianapolis, which is an organization dedicated to empowering people through running. From their website:
Back on My Feet (BoMF) is a national nonprofit organization that uses running to help those experiencing homelessness change the way they see themselves so they can make real change in their lives that results in employment and independent living.
The organization’s mission is not to create runners within the homeless population, but to use running to create self-sufficiency in the lives of those experiencing homelessness. The program’s success is measured by how many Members achieve independence through employment and housing.
I love that this event, one that makes a difficult task easier with team work, benefited an organization that helps people by using the same principles. I also love that I can say I’ve participated in a marathon!