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...