It Was Finally Meant To Be

by altardy on March 24, 2015


That’s right it was race weekend again. An entire year of planning and suddenly—-IT’S HERE!!!

Not only was this our 40th year, but after over 300 races, it was the first time I’ve had my name on my bib number. “Thanks Brian”.

And, added to the fact that this was exciting to have our 40th year arrive, we also had invited…..IMG_0016     

Bill Rodgers to be our guest runner.

Bill was a 1976 United Stated Olympian and won the Boston Marathon 4 times and won the New York Marathon 4 times.  But also, Bill won the very first 3 Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Races.  An amazing man who still races today.  As a matter of fact, he not only ran in our race on the 21st, he was running another 10k race down south the following weekend.

But, on a more personal note, a mutual friend of ours has suggested for over 30 years that I meet him. But, it never happened.  And, finally, this was the weekend it was to be.IMG_0035 

BUT, I realized at the end of race day, I never took one picture of us together that day.

Fortunately I was given the great honor, along with a wonderful woman and friend named Brenna, of walking the entire parade route with him the next day. Which is why you’re getting to look at us trying to stay warm waiting for the parade to start.  IMG_0054

But once it got started what an amazing time I had with such a wonderful man. 

He’s humble and down to earth.  He loves people and encouraging them and making them smile.  IMG_0037

He helped and encoursged Brenna as she trains for the Boston Marathon.

As humble as he is, he seemed amazed that so many people came to see him and say “hi”. My biggest job that day was to make Bill understand that they were there because he had earned their love and respect. 

I can only hope for all the people that read this, and the rest of what went on that day, that you too have the chance to spend even one hour of your life with someone as amazing of a person as Bill Rodgers. And I was blessed to have spent most of 3 days with him, which will be a great memory for the rest of my life.

There are 10 entries, with pictures and stories about the day.  So read them and see what a great time we all had race day.         


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