By Bill Fahrenkrug
Running the ThedaCare Half Marathon with my grandchildren last year left an impact on me that I will never forget. I want to thank Steven, Kristin, Sarah, Ben, Chelsea, Alicia, Kali, Tracy, Christine, and my daughter Kathy for such a memorable event. The weather was brutal and took its toll, causing me to walk the last part of the race. Those who know me know that I would normally consider this a failure because I have never finished a race walking. I am wired to compete, and I pride myself in doing it well so, having to walk the last part of the race, I felt I had failed.
The real essence of what the Marathon is about put my feelings of failure in its proper place. Before the race we all agreed that we will stay together and finish together, even if
it meant slowing down and/or walking, and when I was the one who had to slow down and walk, they all stuck with me. This was no longer a race but became a family event which meant it was not an individual thing, but a shared goal in which everyone was committed to – to finish the race and cross the finish line with hands together. And we did just that!
I would also like to mention that Kathy, Tracy, and Christine (who also did the photography) got us to the starting gate and were there at the finish to pick us up. My son Patrick made th
e effort to cheer us on midway through the race as well.
We did have fun along the way, stopping to pose for pictures, doing a little jig to some of the good music and getting a lift from the many people along the way who were cheering us on. But the thought I want to leave with you is that the most important aspect of our running the half marathon was the sense of family, caring, sharing, and yes, dare I say the word LOVE that was experienced in my “so called failure” which turned out to be anything but that.