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Dedicated to Marci
Submitted by Jack
When I was a kid I ran because I didn't know any better. In high school and college I ran because I was good… good enough for a scholarship. When my wife died right after my fortieth birthday, I ran… for escape, for peace of mind, and eventually for the sheer joy.
After a couple of years, and after shedding the start of middle-aged-spread, I started entering marathons. I started with the Denver Marathon. The most fun was the Avenue of the Giants in the beautiful redwood country of Northern California.
One of my dreams was to run the Honolulu Marathon. My company gave a six-week sabbatical every four years and I decided to take the entire six weeks in Honolulu. I found a small apartment a few blocks from Waikiki Beach and started running, getting used to the heat and humidity – so different from Denver.
I got there four weeks before the race, figuring to visit some of the other beautiful Hawaii Islands afterwards. My favorite training run would be along Ala Wai cutting down past the zoo, through Kapiolani Park on to Diamond Head road. I would swing around Diamond Head and enter through the tunnel into the open area in the middle. I would then run up the trail to the lookout at the top.
I would rest for ten minutes or so admiring the view of Waikiki Beach and Honolulu and then come back around the inland side of Diamond Head and back to my apartment. Some days I would do this twice. I was in pretty good shape and looking to break three hours, the best I could do in the warmer weather.
About a week before the race I was starting to cut back a little and took a more leisurely run to Diamond Head. On my way down from the top I didn't see a rock in the path and went tumbling down a switchback. I couldn't move my leg and a good samaritan called the Honolulu Fire department rescue team. I was amazed how quickly they got there, and with their high level of professionalism! Mary, one of the EMT specialists, put me at ease. She was a cute redhead and even in my pain I couldn't help but flirt with her – I guessed she was around thirty-five at the time.
They very quickly got me to the hospital and I motioned Mary over as they were moving me into the emergency room. "Mary, I want to thank you and I have to tell you I will feel much less pain if you could stop by and see me later. She blushed prettily and didn't answer. Later, when I was in a room, my leg in a cast with a broken tibia, Mary did stop by.
About six months later I moved to Hawaii and shortly thereafter Mary and I got married. Our three kids always get a kick out of this story!