by Michael Monarrez
It is Sunday, February 17, when my alarm goes off at 4 AM. As I wake up and get myself ready, I ask myself as to why I am waking up so early on a weekend. I leave my house in the early morning to meet up with other fellow AGS members not knowing what awaits me, not knowing that today is going to be a fun and inspiring day.
Today is the Pasadena Rock and Roll Marathon. This event is held to raise awareness and to raise money for charities such as Cure Mito, Team Activities for Special Kids (TASK,) and ASPCA. People prepare and register months in advance for this event/cause. Upon registering, participants pay a fee ranging from $35 – $150 depending on preference and date of registration. Runners/participants get to choose to either run a half-marathon which is 13.1 miles, or run a mini-marathon, a mere 3.5 miles in comparison to the half-marathon. With registration, there are perks, such as an official Finishers certificate, a medal, a swag bag, and free entry into the Finish Line Festivities/Post Race Concert. Along with the Post Race Concert, local bands play live music along the course to help encourage runners; this is why it is called, Rock And Roll Marathon.
Upon crossing the finish line runners enter the Secure Zone where their medals are adorned on them and they receive drinks and snacks. In the Festival area, runners meet up with friends, family, and others to celebrate their achievement and recover and to also enjoy the Post race Concert. Even if for a good cause, even with all the perks, it eludes me to as why people would pay to run …
It is 7:15 AM and all participants line up for the start of the Marathon. I take a look around at all the participants and notice a vast diversity. There ranges from the skinny and muscular, the seasoned runners to people like me, the unfit looking everyday person. What drives them to partake in a marathon? So much needed to prepare for what I see as a difficult feat.
All the runners have crossed the start line and after some time has passed the seasoned runners begin to cross the finish line where I now stand to help pass out medals, water, and snacks. As people cross the finish line one by one and group by group, I can now begin to understand as to why people run these events. What brings them here, all the normal Jane and Joe’s, as more and more people cross the finish line, you can see in their faces how happy they are. I watch a mother cross and the sense of accomplishment rings true in her face and I smile. More and more, non Season runners cross the lines, their faces full of joy, full of accomplishment. It reminds back into high school when I used to run cross country. How I felt back then, I now feel it again. It feels good, and you can see it in everyone’s face. When you cross that finish line, it is an amazing feeling; you fight the pain along the marathon course and when you get that medal around your neck, you feel good about yourself. More and more faces pass by me, all happy, some in pain, but when they see the friends they ran with, a great smile grows. I feel inspired…I want to feel this again: I want to feel the accomplishment they felt at that moment when they crossed the finish line. There is no way to explain how it feels; all I can say is that the best way to know what I am talking about is to participate in a marathon yourself. You will then see what I mean when I say, IT FEELS GREAT.
I went to Rock and Roll Marathon a volunteer, but I left inspired to accomplish great feats.
For more information on the Rock and roll marathon visit, http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/pasadena/event-details.