When Old Warriors Tell Stories…The Eagle and Boston Marathon

We were having dinner with some friends this evening. As with all old warriors, the conversation will eventually turn to athletic pursuits of the past. While my husband and I have led a full life we really don’t have any claims to fame…period. We are just country people that lived, worked, retired, and live, work, and love retirement.

But we seem to run into some very interesting people every where we go. When we were in Arizona this last winter we loved the people that surrounded us. We had a doctor, a home economist that worked at Iowa State, business people and so on and on. Then one day a man revealed to us that he had served in the Coast Guard during the late 1940’s. His training required a stint on the Eagle, the Coast Guard tall ship. This was in the days before computers and exotic electronics. In that summer they left landfall during a hurricane and he had actually climbed the main mast during a storm. All he could say was “That was something!” That was something alright. I could not help but be breathless just at the thought of such a thing.

Well this evening one of the men at our table began talking about running in the Boston Marathon in 1976. . Wilipedia said:

“Indeed, the qualifying standard is high enough that many marathoners aspire to meet it, and doing so is considered an
achievement in itself.”

The Boston Marathon began in 1896 and an average of 20,000 racer qualify each year. During the 1996 race on the 100th anniversary of the prestigious race over 38,000 racer participated. Jack Fultz won the race in 1976 in 2:20.19. It was the last time the marathon was won in over 2:20 . It was the hottest marathon on record with the temperature hoovering around 100 degrees. Now I don’t know about you but a marathon just boggles my mind and having run in the Boston Marathon, especially during our bicentennial, seemed somehow so impressive.

My hat is off to men and women that set out to do the remarkable. It would be wonderful if we all had just one story like that to tell when we are old, having dinner with friends and old warriors begin to brag! Wow!



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