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My L.A. Marathon victory lap

Xs and Arrows

Series: My marathon journey | Story 1

I cannot properly recount my experience finishing the 2022 Los Angeles Marathon in one edition of Xs and Arrows. Be advised that the tale of struggle and triumph will wield itself through the remainder of my tenure. There is just that much to break down and discuss with those of you that shared this journey, dating back to last September.

First and foremost, I finished this event and did so while running the entire 26.2 miles from Dodger Stadium to Century City without walking a single step. This event was hailed by my charitable organization Team World Vision as a "victory lap" for all the training and effort put in over the last five months. I trained 503 miles to be able to successfully run 26.2 on March 20. While it was certainly a victory lap, it came with plenty of pain along the way.

I went from couch to marathon in five months, but doing so meant not skipping a single day, rearranging my life and sacrificing sleep and comfort to accomplish the mission. Lots of early dark mornings, lots of cold journeys, plenty of soul searching and mental discovery. No, it was not easy, yes, it took more out of me than expected and for those of you who read about this journey from the beginning, I still have a distaste for running, but the results have been amazing.

I did not finish the marathon as quickly as I would have liked. I had an unrealistic goal that cost me some energy in the last eight miles. Lesson learned but I am determined to accomplish that goal someday. I will not stop until I reach that next level, call it a curse from someone who is wired to always get better, it also means more races to come. I will get to that in a moment.

While running 26.2 miles was indeed a physical challenge, it was more mental than anything, especially when my body started to shut down in the 18th mile. There was nothing but sheer fight and heart that pushed me through to the end. As I mentioned in previous tales of this endeavor, I have this odd ability to take a beating, and nothing was going to stop me from reaching the finish line, even as muscles ached and nothing seemed to be working properly. The cheers from the thousands of Angelinos along the route and support from Team World Vision kept me going. More about that in the next edition.

Yes, I am that stubborn, and it paid off as I crossed the finish line on Avenue of the Stars while pointing skyward to the Almighty who promised me from the very beginning that if I did this, he would see it through but I would have to do my fair share-we both lived up to our end of the bargain.

You never know the full extent of your capabilities unless there is a willingness to explore the painful challenges that are out there. I decided five months ago after hearing from Team World Vision that I needed to compete again. Five months later, I stood in the starting corrals at Dodger Stadium ready to run through a wall as a competitor again. Today, I am a marathon finisher and more importantly, over 60 children across the world will now have access to clean drinking water thanks to the donations made by many of you for my cause. You have profoundly changed lives with that decision.

There are more changes to come, I am happy to announce that I am not finished yet. Thanks to your donations totaling over $3,300, I have received an invitation to run the New York Marathon this November, which has prompted me to change my mind and train yet again for this grueling task. I cannot in good faith turn down this prestigious event and opportunity nor the chance to again help raise money and bring clean water to developing nations.

The Big Apple awaits in November and I for some odd reason am excited to open a new training plan and get to work. I would never have thought that I would reach this point in my life, but now I am ready for the challenges, and more importantly, ready to embrace the training process once again.

Thanks to all of you for your support, your encouragement and your motivation over the last five months. Do not go anywhere because I will need you as I prepare to run the five boroughs of New York on Nov. 6, and I know you will have my back.

Corey Costelloe has covered NCAA, professional and local sports for more than 20 years as a reporter and broadcaster. He advocates for the value of athletic competition and serves as the Vice President of the Tehachapi Warriors Booster Club. He can be reached at [email protected].