You get to run the last six miles of your next marathon with 6 different people. They can be dead or alive; famous or not famous. Who are these people and why did you pick them? Furthermore, why did you pick them for the specific mile you did? Remember, you get an extra .2 miles with runner #6.
Mile 21: Ryan Reynolds. I think we are all aware of the simple fact that any good looking guy becomes exponentially better looking when you find out he's a runner. Ryan Reynolds is funny, seems to put a reasonabl eamount of effort into his core fitness, and has run a marathon before. Ryan and I would hang out in mile 21, and I'd be sympathetic to the fact that he doesn't get to run with his wife, Scarlett Johansson. That's got to be a bummer for him, and hopefully Scarlett wouldn't be too jealous of the time we were spending together. Poor girl probably has trouble running because of her enormous rack, a problem I do not share. I'd bid Ryan farewell, then it'd be time for
Mile 22: I would spend this mile hanging out with Non-Runner Nancy. In case you live under a rock, NRN recently faced an injury and surgery that she's recovering from nicely... but learned that running and her body don't mix. Well, through the magic of Take It and Run Thursday, Nancy can, in fact, run again. She would hand me her red lipstick, and the two o fus would laugh through that 22nd mile. Nancy would help me remember that, even in the hardest parts of any race, I should be grateful about the fact that I can run at all.
Mile 23: I'd spend the 23rd mile of the race with two of my favorite people in the world - my brother Andy and my sister Jenny. The three of us would spend so much time laughing and telling stories about each other that the miel would be over before I knew it... something that would definitely be appreciated so far into a marathon.
Mile 24: Mile 24 would mean time for a different kind of inspiration. Sharing this mile with me would be a group of women who would have to slow down one whole hell of a lot to hang out with me: Paula Radcliffe, Kara Goucher, Deena Kastor, Catherine "The Great" Ndereba, Joan Benoit-Samuelson, and Katherine Switzer. Their strength would carry me through that mile.
Mile 25: I would love to spend the 25th mile with the man who really turned me into a runner: my high school cross country coach, Jeff Quick. Coach Quick taught me a lot about running - how to do speedwork, how to run hills, the same stretching routines that I use today. He also taught me toughness, tenacity, and to trust my own instincts. I'd love to run with Quick to show him how those lessons have stuck with me.
Mile 26-26.2: The final 1.2 miles could only be spent with my guys, Steve and Jack. The fact of the matter is, I couldn't run at all if it weren't for the love and support that the two of them show me. Neither of them ever complains when I leave the house to go running. Steve always makes sure I get enough to eat after a long run, Jack always talks about how he wants to be a runner "like Mommy," and the two of them do a million other things every single day that help me get on my shoes and be my best. Steve and Jack would run that last 1.2 with me because the two of them are with me every step of the way. Every mile I run, not just in a marathon, but every inch of my training, I run with the two of them in my heart.