Usually running a marathon on a whim is not the best idea. However, 10 days before the Run for the Red Pocono Marathon I decided to sign up. Who could resist a race that starts at the top of the Pocono Mountains and rolls through the beautiful Stroudsburg countryside? Plus, the race raises money for the Red Cross and the four time race champion, Brian Morseman, races to raise money for his son, Leeim, who has spina bifida.
The good part about starting a marathon on top of a mountain is you get a lot of downhill running, in this case more than 2,200 feet of elevation loss. The bad news is that my quads only enjoyed about 1,800 feet. Although I have run more than a dozen marathons, I made the common mistake of starting too fast. Okay, way too fast. Brian Morseman and I stayed close through the first half of the race and, despite the warm humid conditions, we seemed to fly effortlessly down the mountain.
At 9 miles I was in third place and passed my wife, Shelby, daughter, Chloe, and son, Gabe, cheering on the road side. Chloe made a sign that read “I hope you win the race.” She sure likes to set the bar high. I moved into the lead around mile 11 and I pressed as hard as I could and continued to lead passing my family again near mile 16. However, the heat started to get to me and my quads were screaming from the downhill pounding. As we neared the 20 mile mark, Morseman showed why he is so dominant at this race. He shared a few words of encouragement and surged ahead. He would not look back.
Morseman has won more than half of the marathons he’s run (24 total wins). He cruised on to win his 5th consecutive Run for the Red Pocono Marathon. I was able to hang on for 2nd, but by the time I reached the finish line, I wasn’t looking too good. Upon crossing the line, someone asked if I was okay and I tried to mumble “yes,” but I don’t know if any words actually came out of my mouth. Moments later, I was pulled into a medical tent and given an IV. The Red Cross volunteers were great. They made me as comfortable as you can be after running 26 miles in the heat. After getting a liter of fluids pumped into me, I felt much better. The Run for the Red Pocono Marathon was a great experience and a great event. The volunteers and race organizers put on a great race. Brian has truly mastered this course and at only 29 years old, has truly become a marathon expert. YOU CAN DONATE TO LEEIM HERE