Brooke’s Marathon Stories 51-75

51 – Denver Rock ‘N Roll 09/22/2012 Denver, CO

Denver Marathon

Apologies that this section is a little thin… The sum of my time in Denver was work and run-related. But I will offer up a few factoids and do my usual Good, Bad and Ugly.

*Factoid #1: Settlers named the frontier mining camp “Denver” after Kansas Territorial Governor James Denver in hopes of gaining political favor. Unfortunately, their timing wasn’t great as the governor had already retired.

*Factoid #2: The first permanent structure in Denver was a saloon.

*Factoid #3: Despite being warned by Indians not to build Denver in its location, settlers didn’t listen. In the first few years, Denver was destroyed twice, once by flood and once by fire. Interestingly, like most other cities, Denver was not built on a road, railroad, lake, navigable river or body of water. But it is where the first few flakes of gold were found (1858)!

The Good: I ran marathon #51 and finished as well as I could.

The Bad/Ugly: I felt awful doing it. The elevation triggered my asthma/EIB, and all though it is well controlled, the marathon was pretty painful.

52 – Detroit Free Press 10/21/2012 Detroit, MI

Although Detroit still struggles, it is a town full of vibrant and friendly locals. If you go, the Motown Museum is a must!


While there, I had some fun media opportunities (TV, radio and newspaper) to talk about running with asthma and EIB (exercise induced broncospasm). Basically, every time I step out the door to run, my airways constrict. But with the help of my asthma doctor and with the correct medication, I am able to lace up my shoes and stay out there!

Marathon: Running with my passport just in case, We (thousands of marathon friends and I) crossed over the Ambassador Bridge into Windsor, Ontario. Just as we reached the crest of the bridge into Canada, the sun rose up over Detroit, illuminating downtown and making the Detroit River sparkle. Truly breathtaking.

Factoid #1: An 8 story tire (12 tons) sits alongside I-94. It was originally a Ferris wheel built for the 1964 World’s Fair.

Factoid #2: Ginger Ale was invented in 1862 by a local pharmacist.

53 – Seattle Marathon 11/25/2012 Seattle, WA

Just a few days after Thanksgiving, I traveled to Seattle to run a beautiful course with rolling hills and spectacular views of downtown Seattle and Lake Washington. During the marathon, we crossed the Lake Washington floating bridge (I-90) and looped around scenic Seward Park.


Factoid #1: Seattleites buy more sunglasses per capita than any other city in the nation.

Factoid #2: Seattle was the first city in the US to play a Beatles song on the radio.

54 – Jacksonville Marathon 12/16/2012 Jacksonville, FL

Keeping up with my marathon-a-month commitment (don’t want you all to think I’m a slacker!), I headed down south to rerun Florida. I first ran Florida in January of 2010 (Goofy challenge: 1/2 marathon on Saturday, full marathon on Sunday and if you complete both, you get 3 medals), but went back again because there wasn’t a marathon in the month of December in a state which I hadn’t already run!

Jacksonville, Florida

It was hot and humid but I felt strong and finished well (though the above photo suggests otherwise). Plus, I got to visit a long-lost high school friend whom I hadn’t seen in 26 years!

Factoid #1: Elvis Presley’s first indoor concert was at the Florida Theatre Downtown in 1957.

Factoid #2: Jacksonville has an area of 885 square miles, making it almost double the size of Los Angeles.

55 – ONU Indoor Icebreaker Marathon 01/27/2013 Ada, OH

Marathon #55, State #42

Two hundred and eleven times around an indoor track, changing direction every thirty minutes.

ONU Icebreaker Marathon, Ohio

It wasn’t as bad as you might think… a constant fifty-five degrees, no sun, water and a port-o-let every two hundred yards. And, for entertainment, music and a large screen with rotating trivia.

Q. Guess what the maker of petroleum jelly did every morning?
A. He ate a tablespoon for his good health!

56 – Melbourne Music Marathon 02/02/2013 Melbourne, FL

I wouldn’t want anyone out there to think I’m a slacker and not serious about this one-marathon-a-month business, so I went back to Florida to run it for a third time. (There’s no marathon in the month of February in a state I hadn’t already run.) Why Florida? it’s easy to find a race there in the winter, it’s sunny and beautiful, an easy flight from DCA, plus I got to see some friends.

Melbourne, FL

Here are some fun facts about Melbourne, FL:

Factoid #1: Originally, Melbourne was a training area for soldiers during the Civil War.

Factoid #2: After the Civil War, pioneer families arrived and land sold for 5 cents per acre!

Factoid #3: The city was named after the first postmaster’s home city of Melbourne, Australia.

57 – Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon 03/17/2013 White Sands Missile Base, NM

Completing a marathon, for sure, is demanding and exhausting, but my pain is little compared to what the Bataan Death March survivors endured in 1942 when Filipino and American prisoners of war were forced to march 80 miles across the Philippines by Japanese forces. U.S. Congressional Representative Dana Rohrabacher described the horrors and brutality that the prisoners experienced on the march. (U.S. Congressional Representative Rohrabacher, “Paying Homage to a Special Group of Veterans, Survivors of Bataan and Corregidor”, Congressional Record – House, V. 147, Pt. 9, June 26, 2001, p. 11980-11985, at p. 11981)

Here I am with a survivor. Truly incredible! If the difficulty of this marathon, with its mountainous desert terrain and LOTS of sand (not to mention a steep six-mile climb), didn’t bring me to tears, then shaking the hands of 5 brave survivors seated at the finish line did!


58 – Garmin/Chamber of Commerce Marathon 04/20/2013 Olathe, KS

59 – Cox Rhode Island Marathon 05/12/2013 Providence, RI

60 – Hatfield/McCoy Marathon 06/08/2013 Goody, KY

61 – Mad Marathon 07/07/2013 Waitsfield, VT

62 – Run with the Horses 08/17/2013 Green River, WY

63 – Acrra, Ghana Marathon 09/29/2013 West Africa

I chose to run in Ghana to visit our AFS student who lived with us for a year back in 2007/8 and attended TC Williams High School.  I almost missed the race because I didn’t realize we needed a visa to get into the country — the Ghanaian Embassy in DC saved the day and issued us an overnight visa.

We found Ghana to be a welcoming country with delicious food. There was a mix of asphalt and dirt roads and it was easy to see signs of past Colonialism in the official buildings and university architecture.

It was a difficult race with high heat and humidity — maybe 100 runners total in 3 races, a 5k, 1/2 marathon and full marathon. The reaction of locals to all the foreign runners was surprise and “what are they running for?” — it was a “normal” Sunday for them — going about normal activities as we were running through the pedestrian and car-clogged streets.

These pictures were taken during the race:

  • Drums were at the race start
  • Fishing boats as we ran along the ocean
  • Vendor stall as we entered Accra
  • A jubilant finish

Acrra Ghana West Africa

Acrra Ghana West Africa

Acrra Ghana West Africa Race Finish

64 – Portland, ME Marathon 10/06/2013 Portland, ME

65 – IMT Des Moines Marathon 10/20/2013 Des Moines, IA

66 – Marine Corps Marathon 10/27/2013 Arlington, VA

67 – Potomac River Run Marathon 11/17/2013 Carderock, MD

68 – Rehoboth Beach, DE Marathon 12/07/2013 Rehoboth, DE

69 – Celebration Marathon 01/26/2014 Celebration, FL

Gorgeous, well-run race!

***70 – Belle Haven CC Treadmill Marathon 02/16/2014 Alexandria, VA

Treadmill Marathon

Treadmill Marathon due to a canceled race (ice and snow on the roadways). I’d advise against doing 26.2 on a treadmill – true UGLY.

71 – Reston Road Runners 03/30/2014 Reston, VA

In sleet and freezing rain

72 – Blue Ridge 04/26/2014 Roanoke, VA

On my birthday!

73 – Pocono Marathon 05/18/2014 Pocono Summit, PA

74 – North Face Endurance Marathon 06/07/2014 Sterling, VA

75 – Grandfather Mountain Marathon 07/12/2014 Boone, NC

Marathon Stories 1-25

Marathon Stories 26-50

Marathon Stories 76-100

Marathon Stories 101-

Back to the full list of marathons

*Brooke pays for all of her own travel costs and related fees. She runs (24,000 miles and counting…) with asthma and exercise-induced asthma.