running for life

December 17, 2008


Dallas White Rock Marathon 2008 by Ricky Moon / DMN Contributor

It’s been exactly 16 months since I ran my first race. I ran the “America’s Finest City Half Marathon” in August of 2007, in San Diego, California. That race had a major effect in my life, changing myself and the way I see and interact with the world.

My first half-marathon marked a new beginning in my life, it was the moment I realized that a new version of me was possible. A better version, stronger and faster, healthier and responsible. I remember how much I trained for that race; I had to give up on drinking, smoking and most important, had to leave behind a person that I loved, but I had to let go in order to change. It was more than a race, I found myself in some spiritual state of mind that is hard to describe. I’m not a religious person but I can say that was the day I met my God for the first time. I cried and smiled for 13.1 miles, as I watched the movie of my life playing in my mind step after step. That day I said good bye to the old me, and gave birth to that new person who was growing inside of me.

During the past year I ran several races in North America and Australia, and since I moved to Dallas I started taking my training more seriously. I found my happiness in this city through running. After a couple races I had already dropped 1 hour from the mark of my first race, only a year ago; and race after race I get closer and closer to the top finalists.

The main goal of all my training was to run my first full-length marathon, which I decided it was going to be the Dallas White Rock Lake. My training was going extremely well until I injured myself running the DRC Half-marathon six weeks before the big day. The 42nd overall position ended up resulting in 5 weeks off-training, and consequently a lot of pain, stress, fear and the beginning of a depressive state. Thanks to the support, patience and dedication of my partner I was almost 100% recovered one week before the race.

The Dallas White Rock Lake Marathon happened last Sunday, December 14th. I joined over 17,000 people, which had their individual reasons and goals for the event. The weather conditions were extremely rough with strong winds of up to 30mph, and temperature above 50 degrees. My right foot hurt me for about 16 of the 26 miles and at several moments I thought I wasn’t going to be able to finish it. It was without a doubt the biggest achievement in my life so far, as I realized that not even 1% of the world’s population have tried such thing. By being injured and not had been able to finish my training program, I ended up having to slow my pace down to 9 miles/hour in order to complete the race. The support of the crowd, and the one I love right next to me was fundamental to get me to the finish line, and I did it in 3:59 min, coming in 912 place. 

After the holidays I am going to re-start my training and run another marathon in the spring, in an attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon. My first marathon reinforced the possibilities I saw when I ran my first race in 2007. Today I know exactly who I am, where I am, what I am here for and where I am going to be. Today, I run for life, run through life, and run to give a better life to others.

The photograph used in this entry belongs to Ricky Moon and you can purchase it by clicking here.