Elaine Doll-Dunn, Psy.D.

What was I thinking? Just because I have run 108 marathons doesn’t mean I can “run” one! This is the week. This is the week where in all the loose-ends, all the “I’ll do that later”s, all the last minute can’t-be-done-until-now things must be done. I have no less than 22 lists posted on my office wall, and some of them have at least 22 tasks on them to start, finish, terminate, pay for, beg for, pick up, send off, or measure. I thought I was pretty proficient at multi-tasking; I have been know to hold a baby, cook a meal, talk on the phone, start the washing machine, catch a toddler going out the door, and smack a fly in air while pacing from room to room to get my mileage in. But this is different. Why? I think because it is so a first, it is so important to me, and it involves the safety and welfare of 90 women from 25 different states. I mean, it was my idea to invite them here for this prodigious journey down the canyon, and now it is my responsibility to see them safely to the finish line and to hope they have the glorious time I have promised!

I’ve had a ton of help, encouragement, support, and suggestions. It’s just that in this final sprint, it has to all be done and done right. I have a new respect for all the people who put on events…who would guess there could be so many details? And since five thousand details add up to an impression, y’gotta attend to all of ‘em.

The up-side to this venture is that it has been exciting, fulfilling, energizing, and a lesson in appreciation and consideration. I will never again leave a race without finding the race director, genuflecting, and thanking profusely. It is mind boggling. Another positive is the willingness of a community to pitch in and help make things happen. Not only do I get what I ask for, but unsolicited resources and help have made this a truly rich experience.

The ladies coming to participate are also a rush. I feel like I have a network of new friends across the United States and an even more powerful relationship with our local runners. We not only have e-mail communication involving logistics of getting here, where to stay, and about the course, but an even more emotional piece has been the women’s stories. I invited anyone who wanted to, to share why they marathon and what it has done for them. On my marathon web site, under “Moments that Moved Me” are some poignant and powerful testimonials from women who determined to step outside the norm and do the impossible. Beautiful stories, gracious sharing.

In spite of the stress and the 22 x 22 things I have yet to do…I am super excited about the upcoming weekend. From the exposition at the Holiday Inn, to Kathrine’s speech, to the actual race, to presenting the trophies; it is going to be an incredible experience.

Some items of interest:
One young lady running her first marathon is also turning 22 that day. Her mom will be running it too.
A mother and twin daughters running together.
A 54 year old woman is doing her first.
A 68 year old woman from Central Park, New York City is coming; won’t she be surprised!
The trophies are unique. Age group trophies designed and created by Don Walker of Piedmont, reflect the theme “Everyone’s a Star…they are a delightful shade of pink accomplished by dipping in cherry Kool-Aid. Resist licking. Master’s trophies made of locally quarried alabaster and carved by Joe Langer are true works of art. First place overall is a quilt crafted by my creative daughter, Sami Trask, and her equally gifted friend, Angela Lytle.

So there is more than the scenery, chocolate at the aid stations and the all-male support staff to ensure that these women take home some first class memories.

This 26.2 mile footrace from the Lead Country Club to Tretheway Pavilion is a certified course through the diligent efforts of Jim Meyer and USA Track & Field, so if you want to hang out in City Park starting at about 9:30 on Sunday morning, you will probably see some Boston Marathon Qualifiers sprint across the finish line. It will be exciting, emotional, and inspiring; come cheer for your sisters.

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