The Marshall University Marathon is my home course. I've run the half multiple times, hosted the very first ever official Loopfest (we called that one Loopsterfest) in my home, and I'm on the marathon planning committee. Last year I couldn't run because I had had my ankle surgery three weeks prior, but I dragged a folding chair and the official Loop cowbell to the side of the 5K and cheered on TO, who had dropped in to run it, then I drove to a spot along the marathon course and cheered on various friends running it. I just knew I would be running Marshall again this year.
That is not to be, because of continuing injury problems, but this year I have one current student and one former student running the half, and one former student running the 5K. So I will be up early with my stadium chair and the official Loop cowbell to cheer them on.
Speaking of proud, Marshall is well known for its programs for autistic students. Parents from all over send their kids here to get intensive help in succeeding at college. A few years back we had an autistic student in the music department. He was a good guy, quite smart, but with many struggles, self-discipline being a big one. His guitar teacher was tireless in working with him and staying in touch with his mentors in the autism program. At one point, the student, I'll call him J, didn't show up for a few days, so the guitar teacher went to his dorm room, where he found wall to wall Doritos - J was just hanging out gorging. But he got back on track, and graduated on schedule. Since then he has moved back near his family in New York, but he has a job and an apartment of his own. In the past couple of years he has started running - the man with self-discipline problems - and last week he PRed at a half - 1:41:xx.
Run happy, my friends!