Justin started the run on May 2nd and I had the pleasure of running the last chunk of miles with him on Saturday. Justin's experience in ultramarathons is limited making his accomplishment even more extraordinary.
I met up with Justin on the morning of his last day. He looked good. He looked strong. He looked happy.
Justin has quite the musical history in his blood. His dad is Merrill Osmond, lead singer of the music group The Osmonds. It was nice to meet his parents and talk a bit before the run started.
I was impressed with how strong he ran as he neared the finish line. As we talked he related feeling the exact same way I feel toward the end of ultras. Once you start catching scent of the finish line all you want to do is get there as fast as you can.
I also had the pleasure of running with Debbie who is the only person on this earth who has run each of the 38 St. George Marathons. It was fascinating to talk to her about her running history. The question I was most interested to ask was "Tell me about the years when you weren't sure you would be able to continue your streak." I love hearing about the challenges people overcome and Debbie was no exception. One year she ran after being diagnosed with cancer and going through chemotherapy. Her determination is an inspiration.
Justin was running to raise awareness and money to support 25 children who needed the gift of better hearing by getting new hearing aids or devices. He worked with the school board to reach needy children and it was great to see some members of the board join in on the last day of his run. St. George Mayor John Pike even got in some miles with us.
The run finished with a big crowd awaiting his arrival. It was an awesome moment to see Justin finish such a lofty goal he set for himself many months ago. He is proof that we can do hard things when we put our minds to it.
At the finish line I was able to spend some time talking with Justin's aunt, the one and only Marie Osmond!
I posted the picture on Instagram with a joking comment that me and Marie were now BFFs. But check this out.....Marie later confirmed on her Instagram account that we ARE indeed BFFs! Eat your heart out baby boomers! Now that is funny.
Huge congrats to Justin! May each of us find something scary, daring, and intimidating.....and then take the risk, take the chance to do something awesome.