WOW, thank you so much to those that sent in your finish line photos. They are all amazing and I absolutely loved reading them all (about 200 entries!!). I can’t even tell you how many of them made me cry. I narrowed it down to 15 for the contest today but I will be posting the others throughout the month because they are all so incredible. You guys are truly amazing.
Go ahead and vote for your favorite picture/story in the comments pretty please.
Just vote by telling me which number is your favorite. THANKS!!!
This first one is from my first marathon. I ran a 3:09 first time. I cried tears of pure joy as I approached the finish. This is about 30 ft from the finish shoot. I had just gone through a deep postpartum depression a couple years prior and I just felt on top of the world. I came to know that I could do anything I put my mind to. I was weeping but smiling and yelling out loud “I did it. wooohooo” -in this picture. :)
This is me running towards the finish at my first Ironman. Ironman Mont Tremblant in August 2012. The finish chute is so long and there are SO many people all screaming like you’re the winner. This is the moment I could hear the announcer saying “Mary Minutella from Windsor, Ontario. You. Are. An Ironman!” I trained for this race during one of the toughest years of my life – having separated from my husband, selling our home, etc. So much self doubt was put to rest that day. One of the hardest, most amazing days of my life and this was the the BEST part! I cry like a baby everytime I think about it.
This picture was from the finish of my first marathon in March 2013, with my best friend, Erin-Leigh. I never wanted to do a marathon until she convinced me to do it with her. We decided to fundraise for an amazing organization called She’s the First (shesthefirst.org) through our training and running our first marathon. We raised over $9,000 in support of the education of 26 girls in Nepal through our race. This picture reminds me to dream big. It was a life changing experience.
On March 23, 2014 my dad ran his first half marathon and I was blessed to have run every step right next to him. My dad was with me when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis only 6 months prior. I’ll never forget that in the doctor’s office right after being told I had MS and all the physical and mental ways it would likely affect me, my dad told the doctor through a cracking voice and tears in his eyes, “We’re supposed to run a half marathon in March and we’re GOING to run that half marathon.” And we did :) We ran every step together. It was incredibly special and one of the best days of my life!
This is from my first full marathon, May 2013 at the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon. Somehow I managed to find the time to train alone, work full time with a 75 mile one-way commute, and be a sane single parent to a 3-yr-old, living with my parents. This face is the culmination of all the sacrifice, and mental and physical perseverance I’d accumulated since I found myself alone when my son was 6-months old.
This is a photo from the finish of my very first half marathon (Buffalo Creek Half Marathon – October 2013). I had only been running for a little over year at this point. I went from being a completely sedentary obese person at the beginning of 2012, to a half marathon finisher and 80 lbs lighter by the end of 2013. Needless to say, the finish of this race was very emotional for me. I was about 100 feet from the finish when I saw a group of people from my running group who waited around to cheer me in. That’s when I burst into my “ugly cry” you can see in the picture. Even though it is probably one of the worst photos of me in existence it also is one of my favorites.
This is a picture from two years ago back in high school. Thats me on the left with my training partner/mini me on the right. We actually got in a lot of trouble for crossing the finish line together… but we pulled each other through the race taking turns encouraging each other to hang in there and it just seemed right. This race wasn’t a PR or anything but it reminds me the importance of teamwork in running.
This was my very first 1/2 marathon (9-22-13). I had just turned 50 a few weeks prior to the run. Anyhow; this was just a BIG accomplishment for me. I have never been a runner in my entire life. I was diagnosed asthmatic at age 4 and have never been able to any kind of running. That said – I started running about 11/2 years before I ran this race. Early in 2013 I made up my mind to commit to doing a 1/2 by the time I was 50 (I was able to register for the race, but it happened shortly after I turned 50). I did all of my training on my own (running by myself). I had a great support group in my husband while doing longer runs..he would come out on the bike to bring me a little snack or drink of some type. Thank You David! My kids were else great supporters – while not living near me they cheered hard. And; on the day of the race I had my own little support group. They came out on their bikes and showed up along the course every few miles. My silent goal was to finish this race in 2 1/2 hours, and I DID IT!! I finished in 2:22 and felt terrific during the entire race. I have continued to run and will again run this 1/2 this coming September. Every time I look at these pictures it brings tears to my eyes that I can actually run like this and will keep running like this! I still have my runners high!!!
My sister, Nikki, and I just crossed the finish line of the BAA Half Marathon in Boston in Oct. 2012. About 8 months before the race, we lost our mom to breast cancer. Neither of us were runners but decided to join to the Dana Farber Cancer Research team and train for this race, while raising money for a cause that means a lot to us. The race was hard, but remembering the strength our mom showed during her painful year-long battle with cancer pushed us to the finish line. We know she was watching over us the whole way, and was proud to see us do this for her!
This was the Star Valley Half Marathon that took place on July 13, 2012. This was a very meaningful race because my mom had passed away three months prior and I was struggling with the loss, and the morning of the race I unexpectedly found out I was pregnant. I did not want to run, but my hubby pushed me to do it for my mom and little girl. It was very emotional to cross the finish line!
I decided to run a series of 3 races the same year I lost 50 pounds. I had zero running experience and had no idea of what I was doing. My first 4 mile race I wore slip on tennis shoes. Let’s just say that was not a good idea since my feet were rubbed raw. The next race was a 3 mile and I still didn’t wear shoes that were roomy enough, so my toe nails hurt like crazy. The last race, a fun 4 mile Halloween race I figured out that I needed real running shoes and placed 1st in my age group. I came a long way from that middle aged woman who sat on the couch. I kept telling myself when I was running.. you can do this! I ran as hard as I could to the finish line and collapsed on the grass.
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