What’s one to do when a dear, Boston Marathon-running friend ties the knot? Send her off on her merry, matrimonial way with some Bah-stun-based advice, that’s what I say.
So that’s precisely what I did this weekend, when a certain dear friend named Christy laced up not her running shoes but her great-big-whole-freaking-entire life with that of one supremely lucky six-foot-five-inch guy named Greg (aka The Cowboy).
Should you need reminding, Christy’s aka is “C4” and by that I mean she constitutes a very important 25 percent of The Infamous Clam-Shell-Winning “Four C’s” Hyannis Marathon Relay Team, shown here mere hours before their Cape Cod debut…
C4 (I mean Christy) and The Cowboy (I mean Greg) said their vows some 2,646 miles away from Hyannis (I mean glorious Tucson, Arizona). They got hitched under the watchful gaze of dozens of cowboys (real ones, complete with hats and boots), saguaro cactuses (also real ones, impossibly goofy and jaw-dropping at the same time), and me (every wedding needs a token Bostonian). It. Was. Awesome! (An aside: The mountain biking I did in Sedona the day before the wedding was awesome too, although I clearly misunderstood the local bike shop’s slogan; I did not “Shred the Red” but definitely “Got Shredded by the Red”. More on that some other day…suffice it to say I proudly wore what the locals call “Sedona Pinstripes” to the wedding!)
Here is the toast I gave at the C4/Cowboy wedding reception…enjoy!
Christy and Greg, one thing connects the three of us more than anything else: the Boston Marathon. Christy, you and I trained for our first “Boston” together in the winter of 2010, and ran it in 2011. I (clearly the wiser of the Cs) decided one Boston was one too many…but Christy kept going. And so it was that I met you, Greg, in April of 2013 when you somehow folded all six feet five inches of yourself (not including hat and boots) into my not-so-spacious Prius so we could cheer for our favorite crazy-runner-chick at the finish line.
It seemed fitting on this, your wedding day, to give you some Boston Marathon-themed advice. Here it is:
Enjoy the early miles.
You will feel strong, fit, fantastic, happy. You totally deserve it. Bask in it.
That said, don’t go out too hard.
Between the downhill slope and the start-line adrenaline it will be tempting. Pace yourself.
Do nice stuff.
Pack each other’s snickers and pretzels. Pour each other’s ice baths.
Say nice stuff.
Greg, this one’s for you: be sure to say YOU LOOK GREAT! at Mile 18…it’s okay if it is a little white lie.
Others may have a quicker pace, fancier running shoes, or the latest and greatest Garmin. Stay focused on what you have. Because it is good.
Don’t be like Rosie Ruiz.
There are no shortcuts. (Well, there are. But they aren’t worth taking.)
Be each other’s biggest fans.
Cheer each other on with reckless abandon like the Wellesley College girls.
Don’t wear your earphones.
Listen to each other and to the happy crowd of supporters around you.
Remember: Heartbreak will come.
It always has been and always will be part of the course. Together you will get up and over it and be stronger for it.
Comfort each other.
Somewhere along the way, an unexpected, scary thing may happen, perhaps something as horrible as what happened on Marathon Monday 2013. Sometimes it will mean one or both of you need to run several miles more than 26.2 to reconnect. Be there for each other; run those extra miles.
My last piece of advice is where the Marathon metaphor breaks down. Because unlike Boston, this isn’t a race. There is no finish line. No one should be timing the miles or declaring winners. You have the rest of your lives together. It is an honor to toe this start line with you; I wish you both the very best today and all of your days together.