Rob Webber will be my guide as we run the 26.2 miles of the California International Marathon while trying to account ourselves respectably for the USABA B1 National Marathon Championship. It has been a few years since he guided me for our only marathon together as we completed the Bay State marathon in 2016, but Rob has continuously been an active part of my life. More accurately, he has featured prominently in most of the greatest adventures, including standing as my best man on the day of my wedding. He’s guided me into and out of many perils along the way, not necessarily related to the matrimonial note above.
He guided me up the final stages of Mt. Kilimanjaro and more importantly down when the entire team was sufficiently impacted to be uncertain if they could guide me off the peak. He pulled me out of the raging river where I clung desperately after having inadvertently gone over a small waterfall. He pushed me in the wheelchair many times during the days I could not stand or walk, let alone run. Now we’ll try to team up and run the course where twice I’ve been fortunate to finish in first place but for which my primary goal is always to finish in pride for the teamwork and dedication involved in any quest.
Rodney and Jose led me to past victories and Rodney anticipated being able to guide me again this year, but circumstances required changing his plans and I needed a late addition. Rob wasn’t quite fully into the marathon training schedule but his newfound triathalon success had given him a base of conditioning which inspires our confidence we can undertake this goal together.
I’ve had many different guides for this particular race and for all the many marathons, races, training runs, and simply fun runs since the Mighty Quinn helped me rediscover the joy of running. I value all of them and each of those excursions in teamwork. I will particularly treasure the opportunity to cross the country with my cherished friend and see the next adventurous installment in our work supporting, encouraging, challenging and most of all enjoying our shared time. So many moments and opportunities are fragile and fleeting but Rob’s friendship has so very well endured. May the “best man” win, though I’m fairly certain the victory was long ago obtained and the prize are the bonds of friendship we share.