The FCRC in the Chicago Marathon

The Fort Collins Running Club had a few members running last weekend in the Chicago Marathon, including Celeste O’Connor, Joel Philliber, Scott Slusher, and Wendy Sloane. All four of them are long-time marathon enthusiasts who live in Fort Collins.

But did you know that the FCRC was also represented in this race by someone who has never lived in Northern Colorado or even the United States? It’s true!

About a month ago, the FCRC received a message from a 37-year-old runner living in the metropolitan area of San Sebastian, Spain. His name is Antxon Corta. He used to run different distances but the last few years has focused on the marathon. He had already run New York and Boston and this year was running the Chicago Marathon.

He wrote,

I have seen your website and I loved your club, especially the spirit. Here, in Spain clubs are very competitive.

I would like to know if it is possible to be a member of your club despite the distance? It will be an honor for me.

And maybe someday I will run the Horsetooth Half Marathon!

He went on to explain that he hoped to visit Colorado some day—hopefully soon. Apparently, seeing the Rocky Mountains was a dream of his since he was young. He hopes to realize that dream one day and also run a race there.

He also wanted to know if he could buy a FCRC shirt from the FCRC Store that he could wear during the race. Of course our club would be very honored for him to do so. I then told him that if he were to do this, I would personally buy him membership into the club!

A few more emails in Spanish and English later, and he had placed an order for a stylish FCRC shirt and jacket that Sport About—our local source of FCRC gear—would ship to his hotel in Chicago.

Then on Sunday, he ran the race. Here is a photo:

Spanish FCRC member Antxon Corta running in the 2016 Chicago Marathon.
Spanish FCRC member Antxon Corta running in the 2016 Chicago Marathon.

After the race, Antxon excitedly reported that he had finished. “The race did not go as well as hoped,” he wrote in Spanish, “since I had stomach problems and at the end had suffered a lot. My time: 3:55:07. But I am very happy to have finished it!

“During the race, I received many shouts of Let’s go Fort Collins!!! Very exciting!”

Antxon Corta after finishing the 2016 Chicago Marathon.
Antxon Corta after finishing the 2016 Chicago Marathon.

So that is the story of a Spaniard representing the Fort Collins Running Club. And yes, he is a bona fide member of the FCRC now as I have just made a PayPal payment for his membership.

Congrats to the other FCRC runners in the Chicago Marathon as well. Hope they had as much fun too!

Postscript

Antxon is still in Chicago, but is leaving to return to Spain tomorrow. He wanted to give the club his regards! (I’m including his original message in case I translated it incorrectly. He actually speaks remarkably good English.)

I would like to give my regards from here [Chicago] to all the members of the club; for me it is a great honor to be a part of your club and to be able to wear your jersey through the streets of Chicago. It has been a great experience and I am eager to wear it through the streets of Spain! Thanks especially to Felix Wong for all the help, without you this would not have been possible! Let’s go FCRC!!!

Me gustaria saludar desde aqui a todos los miembros del club, para mi es un honor pertenecer a su club y poder haber llevado su camiseta por las calles de Chicago. Ha sido una gran experiencia y estoy con muchas ganas de poder llevarla por las calles de España! Gracias en especial a Felix Wong por toda la ayuda prestada, sin ti esto no hubiera sido posible!! Lets go FCRC!!!

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