I know I am way overdue for a post about the ultramarathon etc., but I just wanted to get a quick post up here tonight, as today I had the honor of celebrating my return back to Portland with Mayor Mavadones, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine, my alma mater Portland High, and my family.
My family and I met the Mayor at Longfellow Square where we then made our way down Congress St., flanked by the Police and being cheered on by everyone out and about downtown. We were set to finish at the Boys & Girls Clubhouse downtown, and as we turned the corner on the last block, I was taken aback as I realized all of Portland High had come outside to give me a grand welcome back. Now that felt like a finish line!!!!
After running over and hugging my former principal, Mr. Johnson, and saying hi to all my past teachers, we went across the street where I had the incredible honor of receiving a Key to the City from Mayor Mavadones. To top it off, he officially declared June 3rd as “Zoe Goes Running” day in Portland! As I said a few words of thanks, I could hardly get the words out – the rush of emotions surprised me; in a way today felt like the ‘finish line’ I had envisioned for 4 months out on the road; more than Charleston had. To say the least it certainly brought everything full circle – the emotions – excitement, nerves, adrenaline, apprehension, the vision – raise funds and awareness for one of the best organizations in the world, and the multitude of support systems which carried me through every step of the way – my parents, family, friends, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine, the media, former schoolmates, teachers, and fellow PHS Bulldogs, and the entire community of Portland, Maine – a community whose outstanding philanthropy I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing first-hand.
I do promise I will write more on the ultra and Europe plans this week, but for now my head and heart is totally and beautifully consumed by all the love and enthusiasm I received today. To everyone who has been, and continues to be a part of this whole project, thank you, thank you, thank you. Please know how much I appreciate it.
Here are some links from the news stories covering today’s events:
Channel 8: http://www.wmtw.com/news/28123402/detail.html
Channel 6: http://www.wcsh6.com/news/article/161376/2/Portland-High-grad-gets-key-to-the-city
Channel 13: http://www.wgme.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/iframe_vid_7823.shtml
and an article in the Huffington Post that just came out today:
Again, thank you.