Last Year’s Inaugural “The Joe Marathon”

The Joe Marathon is possibly one of the greatest things ever created.

“Inspired by Shannon who asked, ‘why do you pay for a marathon, why don’t you just run in the streets?'”

Uncle Joe told us he was going to plan a marathon to run in the streets around Arlington Heights.  Until the week and the day before, we really had no idea how much planning he put into it.  And he didn’t know how much we planned also, by creating special t-shirts for the occasion.  What good is a race without a t-shirt?

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The race took place on 6/30/12 (Uncle Joe’s birthday) at what was supposed to be 6:30am, but was moved up to 5:30am due to the heat.  He trained for the race in the months beforehand, and eventually mapped out his route of 26.2 miles starting and ending at their house.  The course passed by a lot of special locations, including the houses of most of our relatives in the area.  The night before the race, Uncle Joe drove around placing yellow signs like this one at every mile marker.

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On race day, I think almost everyone from the Smith family participated somehow (except the R. Smiths who were in Hawaii, so that’s a good enough excuse), whether it was by running or biking with Uncle Joe or just being outside to cheer, support, and hand out water.  Of course, Grandma and Grandpa brought donuts for anyone not running.  Catherine came out to participate too!  Another surprise to Uncle Joe besides the t-shirt was the police escort he got near the end of the race.  Since Grandpa volunteers at the police department, he has lots of connections.  Uncle Joe planned the course so that there weren’t too many major streets to cross to avoid traffic.  But near the end, he had to cross a busy intersection and by that time it was a little later in the morning so traffic was a bit heavier.  Grandpa got his police buddies to STOP traffic in the intersection during this segment of the race!

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This year’s Joe Marathon is taking place on 6/30 again, but will be a little different.  Uncle Joe did not have time to train for a full marathon this year, and neither has anyone else.  So it’s going to be run relay style.  Anyone who wanted to run decided how many miles they can do and since we already have the 26.2 mile course, why not use it to make a relay-style marathon?

Uncle Joe will run from the start to the halfway point, 13.1 miles, with the help of Jessica for the last few miles.  I’ll run from the halfway point of The Joe to mile 20 to get in a 7 mile run on Sunday.  Aunt Bernadette will take over at mile 20 and run to the finish.  Maybe if I’m feeling good I’ll keep running a little bit with her.  Many other family members have also offered to bike, take pictures, or provide support stations with water and cheering throughout the course.  It should be a fun event!

One Thought on “Last Year’s Inaugural “The Joe Marathon”

  1. ummm this idea is completely awesome!! why dont we plan our own marathon??? ending at a bar preferably..but def LOVE this idea,especially the t-shirts!!!

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