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 December 19, 2014 08:05 GMT

BABY JESUS-GPS

FRANKLIN, Ind. (AP) -- Baby Jesus is going high-tech. A statue of the Christ child is getting a GPS tracking device. New York-based BrickHouse Security is donating several GPS monitors to the Indiana Masonic Home in Franklin. Along with Jesus, other Nativity figures will be fitted with the tracking devices. The baby Jesus was stolen earlier this month from a Nativity scene and returned four days later. A spokesman for BrickHouse Security says the tracking services are offered to a number of churches and non-profits for free. The company tells The Indianapolis Star the small tracking device will text or email an alert if the figurine is moved.

TROOPS-HOLIDAY HOMECOMING

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) -- Army Chief Warrant Officer Duane Sandbothe is trying to keep a Christmas secret. He returned home yesterday from deployment to Afghanistan. He hopes to make his homecoming a Christmas surprise for his 8-year-old son. Sandbothe says his boy is to ask Santa Claus to get dad home by Christmas. Sandbothe says he plans to lie low for a week. Sandbothe is among 61 citizen-soldiers of the Georgia National Guard coming back from a 10-month deployment.

RED KETTLE-CASH DONATION

MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) -- Someone is dropping more than spare change into the Salvation Army's Red Kettles. Crisp $100 bills were donated at a number of Cocoa Beach, Florida, area locations, totaling nearly 10-grand. Salvation Army officials tell Florida Today they believe the money came from the same person. Amounts in each kettle ranged from $500 to $1,000.

CHRISTIE-COWBOYS

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Jersey guy Chris Christie will be showing more Cowboys love this weekend. The New Jersey governor has never been shy about rooting for the Dallas Cowboys. But his fan devotion has come under fire again, after Christie was seen high-fiving Cowboys owner Jerry Jones during last Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Christie tells Philadelphia sports radio station 94WIP he'll be sitting in Jones' box again this coming Sunday, when Dallas hosts the Indianapolis Colts. Christie says he won't change his team loyalty just to score some political points.

 
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