Friday, July 8, 2011

Joe and The Marathon Show

“Celebrate finish lines not finish times!”

During the 2011 San Diego Marathon I met Joe Taricani as he was running with an "on air" sign and a big cordless microphone. That was how I discovered "The Marathon Show". I happened to be wearing a “Marathon Maniacs Diva” shirt and Joe called out to me as I ran by at around mile 17.

Joe meets people along the 26.2 miles and interviews them while they (and he) continue running. He ends up talking about everything under the sun! The runners are the stars of his program. “It's not about the time; it's about the finish-line!” he says.  His shows are entertaining and you get to meet people from everywhere. He enjoys interviewing while running; he says his body still feels every mile, but the time flies while he is talking. In fact, he says it is liberating to run without having to watch the clock.

The motivation for Joe's first marathon in 1999 was a sign advertising a training group. It read, “Would you like to run a marathon? Don’t think you can?" Joe accepted the challenge! He figured he would see how far he got in the training anyway. To his astonishment, he finished it and the marathon!

 A couple years later he did a few more marathons—each preceded by preparation. Then in 2008, a close friend passed away and he had a moment where he realized “life’s too short.” He was determined to get back out there.  He ended up completing 8 marathons in 2009 after a friend suggested that he “bank his effort” of the training to get up to that distance! Joe says that, “to be able to run in and complete a marathon is a gift.”

He wrote a business book and decided to use a radio show to promote it, when it dawned on him, that he could use this show and talk about marathons! And so “The Marathon Show” was created in 2010. As well as interviewing runners during marathons, his shows highlight running expos and interviews with the race directors. He talks about whatever might interest a marathoner. As he puts it, “for many, the marathon is becoming a lifestyle--it's not a race but a party!”

Joe says he is often inspired and even moved by the people he meets especially at the back of the pack. He remembers a time when he met a woman at the Carlsbad Marathon between mile 17 and 18. She was literally hopping on one foot and using a stick to move forward. He was concerned and stopped to talk to her and find out if he could help get her medical attention. He found out she had been to the medical tent and had most likely torn something but insisted on continuing the race. She told him she was finishing this race no matter what! She would have finished the marathon in last place, if her friend had not made sure she crossed that line first! As Joe put it, “the person who finishes last, might just be the person with the most courage”.

In another demonstration of his creativity, Joe is planning a reverse marathon in his hometown where everyone finishes at the same time based on their own predicted finish times. This means that everyone can finish together - and celebrate at the end together.

You can listen to his radio show on iTunes and at  his website and become a fan on Facebook, he currently has over 5000 fans!  So find out what marathon Joe will be at next and if you are running it, be on the look out for this guy!

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