Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ran With A Heavy Heart

As you know, my friend and fellow marathoner Tim Feeney passed away on December 18th. I had been scheduled to run the Jacksonville Bank half-marathon on Sunday, December 21st. I had thought about not running, but decided this would be a good way to "celebrate" Tim's life. With all the things going on in the days prior to the race, I had not eaten or slept properly. I was concerned that it would be a futile attempt. A group of runners from Orlando were going, so it helped to have the support.

We drove up to Jacksonville on Sunday morning, leaving the Orlando area at 3:30am. We arrived there just before 6:00am, the race start was scheduled for 7:00am. I felt better as the start time came closer. In tribute to Tim, I wore the shirt from the 2006 Disney World Marathon. That was the only marathon Tim and I ran together, it was his first. The weather was nice about 60 degrees at the start. The cannon sounded and we were off. I wasn't sure how I would run the race, something I usually have planned well in advance of the start. I decided to let Tim's spirit guide me. I knew I was being well taken care of.

My splits were good averaging about 8:15 per mile for the first half of the race. It began to warm up in the second half of the race. I remember reaching mile 10 making the turn onto Baymeadows Road. I was starting to tire, but felt a gentle push at my back easing me forward. I knew Tim was with me giving me that extra little push I needed when it got tough. The last 300 yards of the race is on the track at the Bolles School. It is a beautiful synthetic track with spectators around the perimeter as well as in the stands. I wasn't exactly sure of my pace or time at that point, but I put on one final charge into the last turn and down the home stretch. When I saw the clock at the finish, Tim and I had achieved a new PR of 1:51:53.

The photo was taken following the race.

On Monday, we had a memorial service for Tim and said "goodbye".


Donna N. said...

A beautiful tribute to a beautiful man from a beautiful man.

Daria said...

What a great way to honor the memory of a friend.It sounds like Tim truly was "the wind beneath your wings" you that little push.

Runner's Anonymous said...

Congrats on the new PR! It's especially nice that it came at the only race you and Tim ever ran together.

Jade Lady said...

Wow, you all are dedicated - 330am to go for a race?

A wonderful tribute to your friend.