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Twenty two days out from the Philadelphia Half.  I have no chance at going long this year for a number of reasons.  I’ll settle for running 13.1.

I was really undecided as to whether I should run at all until I looked up the Philadelphia Marathon website.  The excitement and electricity jumped off the page.  The pictures posted from last year’s event reminded me of how much fun I had and how important it is and will be for me to be standing in front of the Art Museum in three weeks in my running gear and a couple of toss away sweatshirts.

This is a true story.  Last year I was in my hotel room eating bagels and bananas while I was watching local tv news coverage from the marathon starting line.  It was about 6 am or so.  I’m happily munching along and pretty much zoned out as so and so says – ” You can see the hundreds of runners behind me all making their way to the starting line.”

I’m thinking – Hey that’s pretty cool when the realization hits me like a ton of bricks that I’m supposed to be one of THOSE runners on MY way to the starting line.  That’s how relaxed I was.  The marathon is an old friend by now and I look forward to our annual meeting in Philadelphia each November.

I get myself out the door and join the swarm of runners and fans on our way to the start.  I start out as a solitary soul and soon I’m joined by three people on my right, four on my left, two more behind me, six or seven up ahead and pretty soon there are hundreds of us all walking past City Hall which we will be seeing in about an hour or so only we’ll be running and going in the other direction.

It’s dark outside.  We’ve turned our clocks back weeks earlier for some reason I still don’t understand.  It’s dark at 7 when the first wave goes off and by 7:30 the eastern sky over the Delaware River and New Jersey is starting to announce sunrise.

If you are running Philly this year you gotta look towards City Hall on your way to the river, it will be on your right – I swear that the sun makes an appearance right behind the statue of William ( Billy) Penn.  It’s pretty cosmic. The statue sits on top of City Hall and for years Penn’s hat was the highest point in the city.

They played a song I had never heard before at the start and in listening to the words you would swear it was written for you standing on the starting line of a marathon.  My apologies for the ad.  I muted my laptop, I don’t know what they were selling.

Three weeks from tomorrow there’s a date I gotta keep with an old friend.

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