accountability partner end goals: Carolyn BQs (Boston qualify), I PR.  Both happen if we run sub 3:55 this year.

Been a long journey since May – whole lotta texts back n forth (Indiana to Colorado) – so couldn’t have been more surprised when Carolyn chose a race in West Virginia for her BQ.  Out of all 50 states, my run in Morgantown WV was the hilliest.

Never argue with a woman – I signed up 🙂   Not super easy to reach the coal mining lands of southern WV.  Boarded a mighty small connection in DC.  One by 2 seats across, prop plane.  Sunday’s marathon commemorates the university football team, who went down in a plane crash November 14 1970.  No survivors.  Team, coaches, prominent citizens.  Makes one think.

Arrived in Charleston, day ahead of my running pal (5 hours away in Indiana).  Woke Saturday to sunshine.  Added West Virginia to my capitol-dome tally, my tenth (LA TX IN IA AR AL CT DC & IL).  Was never a goal to see all 50…but have certainly enjoyed the journey. Quiet, still morning…just me & a parade of ground squirrels.  HUGE fan of both history & architecture.  FAAANNNTASTIC morn!

On the highway before noon, hour drive west to Huntington.  Bib pick-up, 50 State Marathon Club reunion & PASTA 🙂  (however no red sauce for me/stomach cancer irritant, but do love to carb load – YUM!)  Dumb luck re: the reunion — completely unplanned.  Have been to three in my life (Indianapolis, Falmouth Mass & Santa Rosa).  Always fun to connect with folks on a similar journey.  Humbling too.  More than handful of runners have collected 300+ medals.  That’s a whole lotta miles.

Buddy time.  Did a thorough campus walk.  ‘We are Marshall’ – snapped that shot plus one of Memorial Fountain.  Thankful I saw the movie this past week.  Made my experience much more impactful.  Tomorrow we’ll lay white roses at the fountain…last two-tenths of our run; marathon finishes in the football stadium.  Quick drive to Spring Hill Cemetery, then parted ways with my friend.

Tomorrow a.m. my 75th marathon – We are MARSHALL.

 

 

 

 

Marshall’s Memorial Fountain is a celebration of life

 

“They shall live on in the hearts of their families and friends forever, and this memorial records their loss to the university and the community.”

 

 

The Memorial Student Center Fountain is a tulip-shaped sculpture which will always serve as a reminder of Marshall University’s past and its future. Located in the plaza area on the campus-side of the Student Center building, this unique landmark stands as a monument to those who perished in the November 14, 1970 plane crash that killed most of the school’s football team.

 

This tragedy cut so deep because it involved more than the football team, coaching staff and school administrators. Also lost were some of the school’s strongest supporters. Doctors, attorneys, business people and civic leaders were also on board the ill-fated flight in which there were no survivors.

 

The fountain serves as a monument to honor those who died, but that isn’t the sole purpose for its existence. When the fountain was dedicated a few days before the second anniversary of the crash in November 1972, sculptor Harry Bertoia made it known that his creation was more about celebrating life as opposed to mourning the tragic deaths of the crash victims.

 

There’s strong symbolism associated with Memorial Fountain. The flowing waters from the fountain represent the continuation of life. Every year on November 14, the school conducts a memorial service which includes the traditional laying of the wreath at the front of the fountain. Once that part of the service is completed, the fountain’s waters are turned off until the next spring.

 

 

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