For Kevin Arthur, a principal at Kramon & Graham P.A. in Baltimore, the doubt , coupled with pain , started sinking in around mile 16.
In was November 2004 in New York City and he
was running his
first marathon, a 26-mile course that passes through the five boroughs, over five bridges and finishes at Central Park.He
had just crossed over the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan and began heading north and slightly uphill when it hit him:
"I started getting cramps and running out of energy; my legs started to hurt," he
"I had some vague idea that things like that happened but somehow I thought that I was immune , and I found out I was not," Arthur
At mile 20, just after crossing into the Bronx, he
stopped and rested for 10 minutes, then began walking the next mile while he
watched people pass him by and wondered why seemingly less in-shape runners were still plowing on.After all, he'd picked up a book that year about marathon training, although there just wasn't enough time in his
schedule to follow all its suggestions to the letter.His
friends had also reasoned in the months before that if he
could easily run 12 or 14 miles at a time, doubling that amount for a marathon couldn't be all that different.Arthur
eventually finished the race at 4 hours and 32 minutes, about an hour less than his
"It was really a humbling experience," he
said, but it taught him "the value of preparation and training."
Since then Arthur
, 49, has run in the Marine Corps Marathon in 2006 and the Philadelphia Marathon last year, both of which he
finished in about three and a half hours.He
recently qualified for the Boston Marathon, which will be held in April.
not quite looking forward to giving up his
free time to train on the weekends again, at least this time around he
knows what to expect.
"Somebody told me recently that if anyone asks you what's your hardest marathon, the answer is always your first , and it's so true," said Arthur