Events such as the "Mammoth Marathons" bring out the best in everybody. There is a drive and determination in the runners that is unparalleled. Admiration runs deep to those who braved each step of the run. Emulation becomes the inspiration for all of those who watch.
And what about those who "watch"? The fans. What is to be said of those who stand on the side and clap as the runners press onward? I watched these fans. I watched Tom Eden and his kids as they explored the desert landscape and perched themselves on top of rocks as they attempted to spot the lady in "an orange shirt and black shorts" (their mom).
And then there was Melissa's parents who seemed to be Parker's biggest "fan" while braving the early morning and being a "fan" for their daughter. They displayed their "fan-ness" with hugs and cheers at the finish line and a shoulder to sleep on for the "exhausted" fan.
Finally there was "Parker man" who transformed into "Parker fan". Fueled by the Eden kids and Grandpa's swedish fish that Grandma termed "Brain food", Parker got into his fan stance and applauded the runners as they rounded the last turn for the finish line. Surprisingly Parker's fan displays didn't deter too many from completing the race. Parker's applauding was exhausted by the time mom passed as he found the comforts of Grandma's arms. Parker again came to life in time to sport mom's medal and eat the race treats that surely were just for him.
Oh, and then there was this fan. Yes I cheered. Yes I applauded. Yes I admired the beauty of the surrounding walls of rock. But most of all I loved being a fan and witnessing a sprinter become a distance runner. I loved this because I never did get to be a fan during the sprinting days, but now I am grateful to be a fan for whatever challenge comes her way.
Thanks Melissa for letting us be fans!