I’ve run about 20 marathons and half marathons over the past 10 years and while each one is unique (talk about unique: at the Newport, Ore. marathon I ran in early June, runners were treated to raw Yaquina Bay oysters at miles 11 and 19), each also offers a similar ending, at least for me. As I hit the finisher’s chute elated and relieved to be finished, a sense of accomplishment washes over me quickly. After a few minutes, I regain a small amount of composure and find other runners to chat with about how the race went and what big race is next. There is an overwhelming sense of community, accomplishment, inspiration and yes, well-earned fatigue among the runners at the finish.
As we boarded buses heading back downtown after our closing fiesta event held at the Corona Ranch at the end of the 2012 IPI Conference and Expo in Phoenix, I couldn’t help feeling these same things. This fun, exciting, and at times surprising closing event capped off what I consider to be one of the very best conferences we’ve ever held. With more than 2,400 attendees, 220+ exhibitors, and 25 countries represented, it’s difficult not to feel a great sense of accomplishment and inspiration about where our industry has been and is heading. Thank you all for your part and for making this a memorable and hugely successful event.
Some think of life as a race with a start and finish and winners and losers. I think of life and running as a journey with hills and valleys and lots of water stations, and good company along the way.