#40 – Runner’s World Grand Slam Half Marathon
Athletes are superstitious. It is reported that Michael Jordan wore his University of North Carolina shorts under his Chicago Bulls uniform while leading the team to six national championships. So when I picked up my race bib for the Runner’s World Grand Slam — races 37-40 on the year — and found it was actually my birthday (I was born on August 23), I took it as an excellent omen.
I gave myself the calendar year to complete this challenge. My birthday was in Week 35, which meant I would have to have raced more than once a week to meet 40 races by that date. I was afraid that such an aggressive racing schedule would turn the challenge from something fun to something tedious. While, in hindsight, I could have hit 40 by August 23, completing the challenge in Bethlehem, where I’ve raced in every Runner’s World Half since the race’s inception 6 years ago, was an obvious finishing point. A northeast race also meant that my east coast girlfriends and family could take part with me.
I crossed the finish line to posters and t-shirts, a new feeling after so many races on my own. And the question: What’s next? The answer is, of course: More races. I still have runners to sponsor, and 11 more weeks in the year. I’m only 40, but 52 feels good. 🙂