Travels

 

Look out, Beantown, Look out Madison Square Garden...
Here come April & Saroudja!





Yes, that was me chasing down a few dozen of my competitors in the final miles to capture a 3:39:49 finishing time in the 2005 Richmond Marathon -- a Boston-qualifying time by just 11 seconds! I stayed with a fairly even 8:20-:30 mile split the first 20 miles, picked up the pace the next 5, and then sprinted the end out like Satan was on my tails not even knowing I was so close to *not* making it. (Technically, I did have another minute leeway as they qualifying times allow a grace period of 59 seconds, but anyhow, it was close.) I finished 18th in my age group for women (though only 600 & somethingth overall out of the 4,000-plus finishers).



I said this would be my first and only marathon but one can't pass up an opportunity to run Boston, right? It will fall a few days after my 33rd birthday, April 14th... Signing up for Richmond was my 32nd birthday present to myself, so it will be fitting to run Boston as a follow up.

I had many of you in mind as I trudged up the course's many mini-hills... Wanting especially to earn my keep for all those who pledged money to help bring Saroudja to the US (your names listed below).

Lupe & Derek made the trip down from NYC to see me run, as did Ana P from DC and Keith, a veteran marathoner who had been coaching me at a distance... And of course my family in Richmond was there to cheer me on, calm me down and feed me well pre- and post-race. Thanks to you all. Don & Lupe also took on the 8K challenge that took place parallel to the marathon... None of us took home any prize money unfortunately as the Russians captured yet another race & record, reminding us what we were so afraid of in the Cold War. Those folks are fast and fierce!!





The fundraising was a great success, bringing in some $1,300 in pledges. Our lawyer ended up bringing his fee down to $500 (an AU law-school grad and Nigerian, I pulled the African connection & alma mater cards & he spontaneously cut his fee in three). We have already filed the paperwork to apply for the visa & now just wait for an answer from Homeland Security. The additional $700 will be held for his plane ticket, which will cost at least $1,000. In the unfortunate event that his visa be denied, I will put the money towards other requests for educational sponsorship in Guinea. In any case, you will be informed as soon as we have an update on Saroudja's case.

Thanks to all for your support & faith in me and this project... Your support & kind words have kept me motivated & focused on making this happen.

Mark Adams
Miguel Carter
Curtis Carwise
Voni Detamore
Rick DePofi
Phil Dollison
Kent Elbow
Beth Engiles
Hakan Falkell
Mario Gonzalez
Cat Hartstad
Keith Higgs
Jaime Holland
Ken Klonsky
Stanley Krippner
Laura Lartigue
Greg Lewis
Chad McEvoy
Sam Miller
Hae Jung Moon
Brad Newsham
Ana Paula de la O Campos
Tina Pallitto
Esteban Quinones
Sonie Scheffer
Allison Shelley
Dave Stonehill
Jeff Waaland
Valdez Williams


A special thanks for big spenders who pledged $50 or more:
Mindy Iris
Graciela Johnson
Sam Khan
Paul Kleyman
Charli Ornett
George Thompson
Pam Waaland

I have probably forgotten some people, if so, let me know so I can add you to this list.

Special thanks to Keith Higgs, Valdez Williams, Mark Adams, Kristin Dahling, Lupe & Derek, Mon & Don, Dad & Leslie, Charli, Lucy, Hugh & so so so many others for their help & support in training. Thanks also to Hosni Haghighian, pace leader, for getting me to mile 20!

More pics from the course at brightroom.com. General news about the marathon also available at www.richmondmarathon.com.

For more stories, past, present and future, keep visiting www.aprilwrites.com.


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