-Blog post by Reed Sandridge of Washington, D.C.
So for week 44 I went out to support the 21,250 runners in the 36th running of the Marine Corps Marathon. I was camped out at about mile marker 12 cheering the semi-lucid runners on. As the temperature traversed the 40 degree mark, the lead pack whizzed by us at an alarming clip. Charles Ware, a 27-year-old 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, was in that group and eventually won the race finishing in a lightning 2:19:16.
For me the highlight was seeing my good friend Sasha Bratt. Me, along with a couple of friends, hoped that we would see him through the sea of runners. Actually he spotted us and came running over to give us all a hug. “Don’t stop,” I told him, “you gotta finish this thing.”
Sasha is a bit of a marathon addict these days…well not really, it’s more of a Disney Marathon addiction. He’s actually got a special place in his home where he can display all of his Disney medals which number close to ten.
This race though had special meaning for Sasha. The words “Jody” and “Brother” were written on the insides of his forearms. He had planned to run the Marine Corps Marathon in honor of his brother-in-law Jody who had been battling brain cancer for the past 10 years. Unfortunately, two days before the race the cancer took Jody’s life. He was 45 and the father of four children.
“This one’s for Jody,” he said looking at his arms. “When this race gets tough – that’s who I’ll be thinking of.” With that he took off. He finished the race in 4:37:52. Congratulations Sasha!
This blog post is dedicated in memory of Jody David Viets Calabrese.