The months of training, planning, sacrifice and blisters have all led to this weekend, marathon weekend in South Padre Island! In time the blisters will heal and the memories of painful early morning training runs will fade, but the memories you make this weekend will last a lifetime.

Our marathon journey began in March of 2014. Well, that’s not exactly true, just as your journey began long before you registered for the SPI marathon, our journey began long before our initial meeting with South Padre Island city officials to discuss the possibility of hosting a marathon on the island.

We had been producing 5K’s and OCR’s (Obstacle Course Race) since 2008, however, by March of 2014 we were looking to produce something new. Something big. Something that could inspire an entire region, or even an entire State.

Our mission is to inspire people to live a better story. A marathon in South Padre fit perfectly with our mission.

Planning, Planning, Planning.

The first person we reached out to for guidance was Dave McGillivray, the race director of the Boston Marathon. Imagine you had the chance to have Tiger Woods help with your golf game, or Michael Jordan to help with your free throws? That would be the equivalent of having Dave McGillivray sit down and give you guidance on producing a marathon.

Not only was Dave an invaluable resource, he was equally generous in introducing us to many race directors from around the country, allowing us to learn from the collective experience they had gained from producing thousands of races! While we will be eternally grateful for all we have learned from Dave, the thing we love the most is that he has lived an amazing story, an inspiring story.

Dave has ran across the country, twice. He has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for children’s charities. Dave even runs his age each year for his birthday, at last count this was more than 60 miles! He will be in South Padre this Friday night to share his story at the SPI Marathon spaghetti dinner, you don’t want to miss it!

Our journey has taken us from coast to coast and led to many great moments. We have met many wonderful people and have discovered something amazing. When you set out to inspire others, you find yourself being inspired by the people you meet along the way. One of those people is six year old Aaron.

Aaron isn’t you’re average kid, he’s super! At only six years old, he’s changing lives and inspiring those around him. Aaron was born with a serious heart condition (CHD-Congenital Heart Defect) and asthma. He’s already had four heart surgeries, and more could come, but he’d never let you know of his condition because to everyone around he’s the FLASH!

Aaron’s mom, Heather, says that his super powered positivity is changing her life every day and inspiring others to get checked for CHD. Aaron’s mom is now taking her health seriously and will be running the South Padre Island Half-Marathon. He’s too young to run the SPI Marathon, but his incredible spirit is why we’re proud to have Aaron as the Grand Marshal for the Inaugural South Padre Island Marathon.

Training and Blisters

It hasn’t all been sunshine and roses. Just as every runner who crosses the finish line this weekend has encountered obstacles along the way, we have encountered our share as well. Like you, we have faced moments of doubt, frustration and disappointment. We have been physically, mentally and emotionally fatigued to the point of wondering if we had the strength to continue.

Then we get an email from Team Pablo and read about his inspirational fight with ALS. We hear from Trey, who has lost over 100lbs on his road to Padre. We would hear from any number of you who have been so generous in sharing your inspiring stories. It’s hard to stay defeated when you are constantly surrounded by so many inspiring people.

On Saturday morning, November 14th, 2015, I will be honored to stand at the starting line of the Inaugural South Padre Marathon with Aaron, Trey, Team Pablo and more than 3000 of the most inspiring people I know. Thank you for training hard. Thank you for making the sacrifice. Thank you for inspiring us.

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