This past weekend I participated in my fourth half marathon. For the past four years, my sister and I have run in the Buffalo Marathon. Usually, we run the half (13.1 miles), but this year my sister decided to go crazy and run the full (26.2 miles). Every year, the race is run on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. You never know what you’re going to get for weather on Memorial Day weekend. Living in Buffalo, I wouldn’t be surprised if it snowed. But, it did not snow this year. This year, the race conditions were great. But this wasn’t a beautiful run just because of the nice weather. No, this was a beautiful run because the people made it beautiful. I cannot tell you how many people ran in red white and blue. Many of the relay teams carried American Flags. There were service men and women running in full gear. There were numerous t-shirts supporting our troops, our country, our people. Runners ran in honor of loved ones. There was one couple who ran the half marathon while pushing their disabled child. Talk about inspiring. Then there were the people out cheering on all of the runners. There were thousands of volunteers handing out water and Gatorade. Little kids lined the streets of Buffalo slapping runners hands as we ran by. There were signs…everywhere. Some were signs for specific runners. Some were signs to make us laugh (“Smile if you’re not wearing underwear”). Some were signs of encouragement (“I’m proud of you perfect stranger”). I cannot tell you how many times I teared up while running and it wasn’t because I was in pain, it was because I was moved. I ran my best time and could have ran even faster had it not been for the toe and leg cramps at the start of mile 11. And when I crossed the finish line, there was a Buffalo Bills player there to put a medal over my head. Overall, it was a beautiful run!