Paying it forward the 2019 NYM

New York Marathon

Lining up amongst hundreds of other disabled runners we are seconds away from the start I am not nervous I am excited I am happy. We are here Nick and I are running the marathon as I have promised Denis.  I have almost paid it forward Nick just has to reach the summit and my mission is complete.

Ange tells me I have trained harder for this one than that of the 2017 NYM. I know I am ready but can Nick complete it. On our last training session we head for the Northcliff water tower 23 odd km away we are right beside each other we talk and talk and enjoy our run. The week before Nick and I completed a half marathon where he was in pain the last few kilometres he struggled but he finished.

Nick now runs the NYC with a foot brace I am not sure of the details but I know it will help with the pain. I tell Nick to take it easy enjoy the marathon, enjoy the excitement the two million people that line the roads are here to support you we can finish in eight hours our time does not matter.

Soon after the start I realise I will not be running next to Nick as we had done in our training. He has many guides today. I run behind him I run with a steady pace I know that the 42.2 kilometres starts eating away at the body around the thirty kilometre mark. True to my words once I catch up to Nick he is trying to sit on the pavement I see his face he is in pain.

I continue with my American guide Henry he has been with me the entire race running beside me and behind me protecting me from others which now catch up and overtake. We cross a bridge and I take off the necklace I have made and run with. I walk to the side and as I throw it into a river I feel my mom I feel a kind of relief I feel strong now as if she has told me to let her free.

I continue with Henry we have picked up the pace I now know Nick is in the hands of his dad his sister and the other guides. I know he will finish but I must continue without him I have Henry and he is pacing me well. I finish the marathon in 6hours and 28 minutes half an hour better than the 2017 marathon. I do know I would have completed it in far less than 6hrs this is just fine I enjoyed it so much better than the first. I have listened to my words I said to Nick-enjoy it take in the feeling.

Nick completes the marathon behind me my mission is complete I have paid it forward I am happy. I have a brain injury I know for the rest of my life I will carry a TBI but I am possible. I will help others that struggle from this most devastating injury I will continue with Bevans TBI awareness campaign.

Well done Nick you are strong and you have done something that many others will never be able to do ever.

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