I raced my first EVER full marathon and OMG am I ever so glad for that goal to be over with! LOLI was feeling great and clocked my half way point at 2:29 which beat my Houston R&B Half (if it counted). At mile 20, I honestly wanted to just quit. I just felt fatigue. I decided not to carry my camelback with my own fuel because I didn’t want the added weight & there were supposed to be water stations every 1.6 miles with water, Gatorade, and gels but some of the volunteers didn’t show. I was feeling great til then, my left knee was hurting so bad that I had to stop and stretch a bit and when I bent over I knew I was dehydrated; the ground around me looked as though it were just flying past me and I was standing still lol. Not the best feeling. I run as much as I possibly could with a run/walk (2/1) til my knee felt loose enough to just run. I hit whatever water station was avaliable on my way back and tried to get as hydrated as I could to get me to the finish. In the last 5 miles, I talked to myself ALOT lol. I kept asking myself out loud “why am I doing this? What’s the purpose of running 26.2 miles? Why am I doing this to my body? Why am I pushing myself so hard?” A million other questions crossed my mind. I was a bit emotional (probably from dehydration) and it hit me! I do what I do for my son, Xander because he can’t and for all those who suffer the affects of autism. I run for Xander and I run for autism! With about a mile to go to the finish I run as hard as I could and tried not to think about the jolt of pain in my knee or how tight my legs were until I crossed the finish and they announced why and who I was running for. “We have April Hamon running her first full marathon for her son Xander. She runs for Autism and represents OAR!”
I can’t tell you the emotions that were going through me as I was crossing that finish line. Emotions of accomplishment, pain, determination, reason, the fact that I just run my first full marathon. I was given my finisher’s medal and water bottle full of water that I so badly needed and headed up to meet the other runners who had finished and have BBQ while we waited for the official results to come in.
After waiting an hour inside and the results only refreshing ever so slowly, I decided to head out and be on my way. As I’m leaving the beach parking, I received an email from the race director with my results. It showed that I had placed in my age group but I wasn’t sure where I had placed or if I really had. I ran over to the director and asked for him to look at the results and confirm…I was in tears by being told, “you placed 1st in your age group!” I never in a million years would have thought I’d finish a full marathon, let alone place. I was a hilarious hysterical bawling mess and they took my picture with my plaque.
I’m extremely proud of this race and ALL that I accomplished! First full marathon ALL on the sand and 1st Place AG. It just doesn’t get any better for your first!