Jack’s First Full Marathon

Sometimes, Jack and I are so similar, it makes sense that we’re brothers. Other times, we’re complete opposites, and it makes sense that we’re brothers.

I despise running. Specifically, long-distance running. I’ve been a decent sprinter but I have always languished for anything longer. It was only after training for a 5K that I ever ran a mile in under 10 minutes.

It doesn’t surprise me that Jack is the opposite. He has been training to do a full marathon for years now. I thought a half-marathon was his end goal, but it was actually training for a full marathon.

The weekend before his 40th birthday, he crossed a toilet paper finish line, since we’re in a pandemic.

How Jack Broadcasted His Progress

On the week before his Sunday marathon run, we were researching the best way for other people to track his progress during the marathon. Most of the search results were specific to past marathons, not for personal virtual marathons.

The best solution I found was Live Event Sharing from Garmin Connect, but his Garmin Forerunner 35 watch only had LiveTrack. LiveTrack wasn’t too bad as it provided a link with live progress.

Brought a Backup Bike

Jenni and kids thought I was over-cautious when I mentioned that I would bring two bikes to the marathon session. They were confident that my bike would survive the full ride.

And I’ve only had one flat tire in the last two years. However, I had nightmares of running any portion of Jack’s marathon because I had a flat tire. And I didn’t want to miss Jack’s finish.

I’m glad I still decided to bring a backup bike because I did get a flat tire during the 22nd mile. The timing couldn’t have been better. Jenni and the kids had just passed Jack in our van to cheer him on. I was able to quickly swap bikes at the Springwater Corridor and caught up with him.

Run with Friends

Several friends joined Jack along the way for companionship and support. Peekay joined us near the Steele Bridge on our way to the St. John’s bridge. He stayed with us until we returned to the Steele Bridge.

Clark joined us on his one wheel in northwest Portland on our descent from the St. John’s Bridge.

Shawn drove up from Lebanon, Oregon to join Jack on from northwest Portland to the finish line. His constant encouragement helped all the way down Springwater Corridor and laps around the Walgreen parking lot to hit the target mileage.

Rachel, her mom, and some other friends cheered along Highway 30 and in Sellwood.

Close Call on the Corridor

Unfortunately, Jack stepped off a rounded path shoulder and fell during his 25th mile. He pulled his calf muscle and was on the ground for a few minutes. After hydrating with coconut water, Shawn and I helped him up and got him going again. It was a close call, but props to Jack for not giving up.