There's the old expression "passing the torch.''
It probably best describes what took place at the Marine Corps Marathon a couple weeks ago, when Dr. Mike G decided to keep his 25-year-old daughter, E, company during the race.
Right around the 16-mile mark, the younger G was still going strong, but dad, a 2:44 marathoner in his hey-day, was beginning to slow a bit.
So, with his blessing, off she went and finished in the time of 3:45. Dad arrived about 20 minutes later.
This was actually E's second marathon but the first running with her father.
The Marine Corps get-together plan actually was formulated last year. M was supposed to watch E run in the New York City Marathon, but some friends talked him into a Penn State/Eagles-at-Steelers weekend, and he begged off.
"So I told her if she chose to do another one, I would come out of marathon retirement,'' said G, a podiatrist with offices in Richboro and Buckingham. "And do it with her.''
Going into the race, he was suffering from a sinus infection, which made it all the more difficult.
"At 16, I told her to go because she was leaving me in the dust,'' he explained. "It's a tremendous experience, being able to run with your daughter.
"I had retired from marathon running five years ago. I ran the 16 miles and then I told her, 'The torch has been passed,' from one G generation to the next.''
The course finishes on the hill leading up to the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Va. The elder G said the 25th mile, which sort of loops around the Pentagon, was difficult, but the hill didn't feel so bad.
"The crowd is so large and boisterous there that it just sort of pushes you up the hill,'' he said. "At that point there was no stopping me.''
G has completed 18 marathons, and this one might have been his last. Most of his running these days is confined to local venues, including Tyler State Park, where he gets together with old friends such as L Waldman and R Riggi for a loop around the hills on Sunday mornings.
If this turns out to be his final one, it couldn't have ended in better fashion.
"It was one of those great weekends,'' he said. "How many people get the opportunity to run with their adult daughter?''
From The Bucks County Courier Times
My comments: Wow. My dad is just so awesome...and I've already expressed that but to actually express this to the world. Truly awesome. So thanks dad...I'm glad you were able to pass me such a truly wonderful sport. Don't you doubt that I was thinking about you those last few miles in DC. One conversation I do remember early on in the race was just casual chatter about how awesome it is to be able to run a marathon with my dad...and how I hope I can do the same down the line...waaay down the line. Yet another reason my dad rocks. He has yet to admit that all the running has been passed...but we have the turkey trot coming up to do that;) Can you say another 5 mile PR on the way? ;-)