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My runner's high came when I was done

It was one small step for a well- trained man, one giant leap for my kind.

I ran the half-marathon Saturday morning at Kiawah Island, a 13.1-mile run through moss-draped trees and pre-recession era second homes. I started shortly after sunrise, completed it before lunch time and if I was lapped by any of those lean, wiry runners completing the full marathon they were too nice to mention it.

This being my first - and likely only - half-marathon, I was the running version of the old man driving too slowly with his blinker on the whole time. I got where I was going without blisters or stopping and with the smug satisfaction that I passed a few people along the way, though admittedly most of them were walking.

I would like to tell you that the experience enlightened me about the almost addictive tug some people feel from distance running.

They talk about a runner's high the way I talk about my best tee shots.

There was a great sense of satisfaction to having completed the run, but that may have been because it was 43 degrees and raining the whole time. At one point it rained so hard I thought I was jogging through a car wash.

You see interesting things while running for 2 1/2 hours. I was inspired by the woman wearing a prosthesis on her right leg and by the many Kiawah homeowners who cheered along the route - though I was jealous of their umbrellas and steaming mugs of coffee.

I admired the woman who sat in the back of her SUV offering water, Gatorade and beer to runners while she sipped a tall cool one at 9 a.m. She will never know how badly I wanted to join her.

When my wife, Tamera, and I crossed the finish line together - she was coaching me hard those last two miles - volunteers draped glass medals around our necks. No one was singing "One Shining Moment" but that was OK.

They'd have been hoarse by the time I finished.

But I finished with a smile on my face.

I knew where the woman offering free beer was parked.

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