It was moments of gratitude that rolled into hours of love that meshed into a weekend of thankfulness, togetherness, friendship and immense strength of purpose.
It was awesome, amazing and I can use this phrase without even having to justify it: completely life changing.
I will send individual thanks to the people who made this happen and whom I shared this experience with. This was not just a race, this was more than a Marathon, this was an experience.
We all gathered on Friday evening at 6.30pm in the Carbery Suite in the Quality Hotel in Clonakilty, West Cork in anticipation of a motivational talk by Dick & Rick Hoyt of Ironman and Boston Marathon fame. The Father & Son combination that epitomises inspiration and Yes You Can! Read more on their story here: http://www.teamhoyt.com/index.html
Or watch this Video
Although we all had a sense that something special was about to happen, we did not anticipate that an entire room of seasoned long distance runners and triathletes would get so emotionally involved in what they were witnessing. As their story unfolded (I'll get back to it in future blogs) audible gasps and Ooh's and Aah's led to several standing ovations as both Dick & Rick Hoyt told us a story of love, commitment and performance that goes way beyond what most of us think is achievable.
It was uplifting to an extent that a lot of us have reset our limits as a result.
It was going to be hard to top that evening. In the spirit of the entire weekend the 'hard to' became a resounding 'Yes You Can'. As we were lining up for the 9am start (the amazing 100K runners had left at 6am) I was asked by MCI (Marathon Club Ireland) chairperson Valerie to join Team Hoyt and Team Kerr for the 26.2 mile trip around the gorgeous setting that is Courtmacsherry bay. We ran 9 Miles around the Bay and back and then another 4.1 miles and back.
The entire 26.2 miles became an experience of togetherness, love, friendship, gratitude and purpose of living. An amazing experience that has strengthened my personal beliefs, sense of purpose and desire to facilitate change! One glorious day at a time.
Here's the moment we ran across the 26.2 miles finish line (Thanks 100 Marathon runner Leo Lundy for the clip):
It is hard to bring the ego back out after all this. So very briefly on a personal note I did achieve my targets of 5 Marathons in 8 weeks, ran my 10th marathon of 2015 and my 27th Marathon overall. To top of the weekend I was handed a Club Medal for 25 Marathons completed by none other than Dick Hoyt!
What a weekend! Thanks to Bob, Ia and Mark Hilliard from Clonrun for making it all happen. The spirit of Yes You Can is strong in West Cork. See you in December for the Clonakilty Marathon.
And Yes You Can donate to the 12 Marathons in 12 Months Challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa on http://www.mycharity.ie/event/patrick_mercies_12marathonsin12monthsin2015