I signed up for, and started training for, the Baltimore Marathon 16 weeks ago. On the eve of this race, I look at the last four months and marvel at what this race has become to me.

I was expecting to run this marathon by myself. The Baltimore location is semi-convenient for me since my in-laws live relatively close to Baltimore. My only real goal was to complete the race and get a Boston Qualifying time for my age group, which is three hours and ten minutes.

I mentioned on Facebook that I was going to start running at 5 am, before work, since my evenings are full of sports practices or swimming lessons for Connor and Cole. Out of that Facebook post, a fellow runner stepped up and said he would sign up for his first marathon and join me in the mornings to train. So, Jonathan and I became running buddies and good friends over the next few months.

I also mentioned putting a team together as part of my Running Dad blog. Alex and Jamey jumped on board. This thing was picking up some steam. A high school buddy, Dave, who I haven’t seen for probably over ten years, also got the marathon bug (actually his marathon bug is more like a full-blown infection) and joined the team.

At first I wanted to use this team as a vehicle to advertise my blog. But then I thought it would be a lot more meaningful to do it as a fundraiser for The Lucas Fund. I got shirts made up and everything.

In less than two weeks, Team Running Dad has raised almost $1500. This generosity has raised my spirits a lot, especially since we lost our family dog, Becker, this week to kidney failure.

So, tomorrow when I step into that starting corral, I will be running for Lucas, Boston, and Becker.