Get Up, Wake Up, Show Up!!
You wake up at about 4am any given marathon morning. You check the weather, pray it’s not cold! You wear black, the ninja moves flow better when you are dressed in black. A bit of makeup in case the local television, newspapers and radio stations hold you hostage for a interview. (Are you his wife, girlfriend, manager? What does he eat? Does he really dribble the whole way?) Hydration Ingredients!!
In your back pack, preferably lululemon (it’s got all the hidden compartments plus he’s an Ambassador and I’m a stockholder) you pack all the appropriate gear. Backpack should include the following, 2 each or 3 each of the exact measurements of carb/energy powder ratio drinks. (Should be planned the night before with the Guiness World Record Holder) One very good book. One cellular phone for maps, times and social media- the other for handing it to a complete stranger spectator for pictures of me giving, hydrating or feeding said drinks to Doctor Dribble. (Wish that the spectator takes a great pic- not just one of his chest or abs -UGHHH!) Cash in low denominations for taxis, buggies, horses, golf carts, hitch hiking, subways or any means of transportation to weave in and out of cities with up to 3 million people cheering for their runner. A dictionary to understand all types of dialects and languages learned that day. A pee pee tepee because you have no time to go to the bathroom and toilet paper to wipe between feedings. (Bushes are better than the port a potty). Gum, granola bars and fuel for the five hours of hustle you are facing. (Cheat meal with Darren is the goal anyway) Big Sunglasses to hide your identity so not to get noticed as the hydrator (they always wanna talk about how cool he is, ain’t nobody got time for that). Chapstick for burnt or chafed lips. (Sun and wind are brutal on Game day) His business cards at the ready for the likes of Al Roker, Pam Anderson, Nike, Red Bull, Kim Whitley etc. – we’ve met them all in one marathon or another. (Sponsors welcome) A hat, scarf, gloves for the unexpected and cruel elements. (Below zero temp) He says his hands freeze when he dribbles, ummmmm hello mine freeze waiting for him! Earphones and a Mac daddy playlist to block out the fanatics in the crowds asking my love for autographs on their bodies, dribbles and other hard to walk away from comments! (I’m Cuban people) If you’ve packed the above gear, you are READY! Wait, I almost forgot…. You also need a big smile and positive attitude so when you finally get to see him for the two maybe three one minute sightings you can infuse a very tired and exhausted man with love and energy to add another marathon finish to his already impressive accomplishments.
Ready, Set, Get him Wet!!
You run/walk/bike ride with him to the start line. ( I have done all three) You kiss him goodbye and wish him well. (The spectators start taking pics) you look on the phone with maps for the first meeting place usually in the single digit mile markers. He normally picks between six and eight- the clock starts ticking. I find a driver and hope he speaks English. (Pull out the language dictionary and start giving directions in a foreign language) count miles and his pace, read the app for the city I’m in that is tracking him-compare the two. Make a judgement call. Pay the person driving or guiding me, sprint to the sign with the meeting place mile on it! Say hi to the local cops and shrug remarks about Miami as if I haven’t heard them before and know that the universe is conspiring to join me and Darren for our first hydration of the day. Ask around for the man with the balls, look away when people think I’m a pervert and sit patiently on the sidewalk. See the wheelchairs, the Kenyans! Be grateful! Call Roman and tell him I love him. Watch the man of my dreams approach me, hear the balls- they sound like bombs! The minute starts! Jump in the marathon, avoid getting run over, be a ninja. Or at least think I’m a ninja. Avoid getting arrested. Get beside him! Marvel at his presence, hear the screams, the cameras, and listen to his instruction. Go right or left- he starts complaining or laughing. He might bend, sit or pistol. (I love when he does it) I pour. I wipe. He leaves. I start the process again! I know he is a main attraction but to me he is just my love doing a difficult thing in order to do a beautiful thing. After the repeat meetings, I rush to the finish, pull out my book and read. I have lost Darren once (visions of Saul) and usually am able to watch him cross but not every time. It is as much of a marathon for me as it is for him. I act out of love and so does he. We have met many great stories in these marathons and made memories. I don’t know if anyone will ever do what he does or for the reasons he does them, but if anyone does….the instructions above will help in keeping him hydrated.
and if you don’t know, this is my first instruction manual, magda