This post that I am writing has nothing to do with me. I play no part in this story. The only part that I am involved in is spreading the news of the legend of Chad Nelson.
Chad is a guy that my brother Matt went to college with. They hung out a bunch and I only knew him a little bit in passing. I knew who he was, and he knew I was Matt's brother. During my time knowing him I had learned that he seemed to be a guy that was always doing something, he's the kind of guy that couldn't keep his feet still. This was my thinking of him before yesterday, now, he has made the hall of fame in my book for always wanting/having something to do.
Sunday morning was the Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee. My brother Matt and a few of his friends were running in it and had been training for months to be able to complete the race. One of his friends who was running the race, Nate, called Chad on Saturday to tell him that he was coming up to Milwaukee to run in the marathon and that he thought they should get together. Somewhere in the discussion Nate came up the idea that Chad should try to do the marathon (Matt told me that Chad's only physical preparation for this race was a kickball team that he played on in the summer), and Chad jumped at the idea. (editor's note: I don't know if this was all Nate convincing him, I know Matt has quite the ability to convince people to do things that they probably shouldn't do.) They went through the motions of the pre-race meals and everything that a good marathoner should do the night before the race and got their rest for the race.
Sunday morning came, at this point, Chad had less than 24 hours of advanced notice that he would even be attempting to run 26.2 miles. Chad showed up in his worn down sneakers and started the race just like all of the other competitors at 8 a.m. Matt did not expect much from Chad (would you?). After beginning the race, he had no intentions of meeting up with him until after the race. Matt thought that there was no way that Chad would have been able to keep it up for the entire race. It took a little over two hours until Matt would have his next glimpse of Chad. It was near the 14 mile mark! Matt had thought that Chad was behind him the whole time. What a shock to find him out in front of him. And for that long! How anyone can run 14 miles with no training is beyond me. Matt passed him at this point and eventually made it to the end of the race. He wondered if there was any chance of seeing Chad again that day. I would wonder as well. Could the guy that made it 14 miles have any chance of completing the next 12? Matt got to the end of the race and was slowly finding his friends that he had run with. They were discussing what they should do. Should they wait at the finish line for Chad, not even knowing if he would finish? He didn't have a phone that they could call him and see how he was doing. The only thing that they could do was to wait. Matt ate the post-race meal and watched the finishers. It was around the 5 hour mark that they saw him coming to the finish. Less than 24 hours earlier, he didn't have any intention of RUNNING A MARATHON! He did no training. Didn't carbo-load all week, he didn't even think about his shoes that he would have to depend on for the entire race. He, being a guy that flies by the seat of his pants, ran (and completed) a marathon just thinking it would be a fun thing to do.
I had thought I would be writing a post saying how proud I was of my brother for completing his race (Matt, I'm proud of you, good job!). I am sure that Matt would appreciate some notoritey, but I would guess that he would also say that the legend of Chad was bigger than the race, and that the word needed to be spread.
Chad, I barely know you, but that, was amazing!