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What's Up Magazine

Semper Fi

Jan 21, 2013 10:17PM ● By Anonymous

“I used to be overweight and everybody made fun of me, which I just got tired of. My dad, already a runner, said that running would be a good way to get some exercise and lose some weight. So one day, he took me on a one-mile run, which almost killed me. After two years of running, I started to see a plateau in my performance; I had to step up my game. I’d already run two half-marathons, which I really enjoyed, so my dad and I were looking for a marathon that I could enter at my age. We stumbled across the Marine Corps Marathon. It was perfect because you had to be 14 to run it and my 14th birthday was 13 days before the race.

“We searched all over the web for a good training plan and came across this one Irish training plan—weekly workouts: Tuesday interval training; Thursday a run that is half of my long run; Saturdays I do a long run, and I cross-train four days a week. My favorite long run was when I ran 14 miles on the Appalachian Trail—I’m a big fan of the outdoors and nature. There is nothing more boring that running on a treadmill or next to a busy road.

“The day of the race I had to get up at like 5:40 a.m. since the race started at 7:55 a.m. and we had to take the Metro. The Metro was so busy that morning because so many people were either in the race or going to watch their family and friends. I got many comments on the way there about my age—I felt like the center of attention.

“At the starting line I was bouncing up and down with excitement ready for the gun to fi re—which in this case was a cannon. With so many runners, it’s a slow start that didn’t spread out a bit until about Mile 6. At about Mile 16, I was still going strong but my dad (aka Forrest Gump) wasn’t doing as well so we decided to split for the greater good. I kept going strong until about Mile 23. My thighs were about to collapse and my calves were about to shatter. I kept going, praying to God it would end soon even if it meant that I walk a little bit. There is no quitting at Mile 25, I tell myself. When I finally saw the finish line on the horizon, I was overjoyed. When I crossed that line it felt like heaven. I got so many loud cheers that I had trouble with my hearing for a week after. Although I could barely stand, I have never felt such a sense of accomplishment.”

Eoin’s dad, Joe Devoy, finished about 15 minutes later with a time of 4:21:32. But give the guy a break, he is 28 years older than Eoin.