The Most Inspiring Event I Cover... - 04/26/14

The most inspiring event I cover is without a doubt the Country Music Marathon.  Or as it currently known,  The St. Jude/Country Music Marathon.  (Got to keep the sponsors happy!)

I'm not a runner.  In fact, I HATE running.  It's a stretch for me to jog to my car from my house in the rain.  And I can't stand getting up early in the morning.  The last time I checked, these things start at 7am, and are generally over by 10am.  At least that's when the winners break the tape.

But for some reason, seeing tens of thousands of people going the 13.1 or 26.2 miles makes me feel really good.  Seeing tens of thousands more cheering them on makes me feel even better.  One woman was holding up a sign this morning that said, "Go Random Stranger, GO!"  Which sums up the atmosphere, and the day, perfectly. 

Everyone has a story why they're running.  They're doing it to pay tribute to someone.  Or a cause.  Or because they overcame something.  Or just to prove to themselves that they can do it.  Not for money.  Or glory.  It's refreshing to see.  And really neat.

I also have a tremendous amount of respect for anyone who has the discipline to do what it takes to go the distance.  I certainly don't.  Did I mention I HATE RUNNING? 

And the feeling of exhilaration on the countless faces as the cross the finish line is truly a sight to behold.  I DID IT!  I ACCOMPLISHED SOMETHING.  How often does one have the opportunity to say that? 

I had the chance to see Bill Belichick cross the finish line this morning.  The New England Patriots coach has won 3 Super Bowls and earned millions in the NFL.  He'll be in the Hall of Fame one day.  And there he was, throwing his hands up when he crossed the finish line just like everybody else.  He and his fiance' finished together.  They kissed one another as if to say, "WE MADE IT!" just like hundreds, if not thousands, of others did. 

That's what makes the Country Music Marathon the most inspiring event I cover.  Now if they could just push it back a few hours, so I could get some more sleep...

 

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Last Update on July 22, 2014 09:07 GMT

FRANKIE'S BIKINIS

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Nineteen-year-old Francesca Aiello (ah-YEHL'-oh) is making waves with her bikinis. Organizers say she's the youngest designer to show at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim in Miami Beach. Aiello is a California girl who grew up wearing bikinis in Malibu. She says her mom helped her with the sewing when she started her Frankie's Bikinis line. But the teen needs no help in promoting her swimsuits on social media. Aiello says she hopes to expand her line to include clothing to wear off the beach.

UNDERAGE ALCOHOL TASTING

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Underage drinking is still illegal in California -- but underage tasting is another story. Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law a measure allowing student brewers and winemakers to have a sip. But they can't swallow. Some students majoring in winemaking and brewery science couldn't graduate in four years, because they hadn't turned 21. Some of the courses require beer and wine tasting. Backers say the new law isn't a ticket to party. It also doesn't apply to college students just looking for fun electives. The University of California at Davis and Fresno State are among the schools offering the majors. Sipping and spitting will be allowed starting with the winter semester.

SEMI ROLLOVER-FRENCH FRIES

SPANISH FORK, Utah (AP) -- These taters aren't fit to be fried. A load of french fries scattered over a highway in Utah after a big rig rolled. Spanish Fork Police Lieutenant Matt Johnson tells the Daily Herald of Provo the truck driver swerved to avoid a car pulling onto the highway. No one was seriously hurt. Emergency crews had to clean up the mess before all the lanes could reopen. Imagine, all those french fries and no ketchup in sight.

THUNDERBIRDS-WELKER

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) -- Denver Broncos' wide receiver Wes Welker is used to making some quick moves -- but nothing like this. Welker hitched a ride with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. He was the backseat passenger of Major Tyler Ellison, as they flew over Cheyenne, Wyoming. Welker says they did some "crazy stuff" while the F-16 pulled nine G's during their three hour flight. Welker tells the Wyoming Tribune Eagle there were times he wanted to reach for the air-sickness bag but he held strong. He also says they had a beautiful view of the mountains from the cockpit of the jet fighter.

 
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