Post-race thoughts on the "168 for 168" journey

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Brendan Brustad
  • 97th Medical Group
I can't believe it's over, this was hands down the hardest thing I've ever done. I ran the marathon in 4 hours 36 minutes. The last half mile I ran with everything I had, so fast the photographers and spectators couldn't get a picture out.

The record is not "official" yet. I have to gather up all the news clips and video before I submit the claim. But the record does not matter to me, what matters is never forgetting and always remembering those 168 lives. 

We talk about the preservation of life, how important it is. The preservation of memories is just as important.

People need to know our history, how we respond as a nation. When the Sept. 11, 2001 bombing happened, thousands of people responded, came together. Sometimes it is the worst of times that bring out the best in people. What we do as a nation, is show the world that we never give up. No matter what.

I wanted this run to be a testimony to that. Day after day, hour after hour, I kept pushing forward. When the record was broken, the journey still wasn't over. 26.2 miles was left. At the starting line for the marathon, I was as ready as I could be. My body was broken down, by my spirit was strong. Battling 30 mile per hour winds I ran with everything I had. When I finished, I gave my medal and bib to the memorial. The run was for them, not me. My finish, my medal, is in my heart.

I will continue to keep running, I hope to inspire many along the way. At the marathon, people from every state, all around the world, came together, and united. For those few hours, everyone was encouraging one another, there was no conflict, no hate. Everyone came together for the greater good. Through running we can find peace.

We can change the world, a mile at a time.