For some, it's all about conquering some previous health struggle and the motivation that provides for them. For others it was just the "Indy Spirit" thing to do. Folks on the sidelines are there for different reasons and cheer us on in a variety of ways - "garage bands" of all types, dogs in sunglasses, high-fives from little guys, cowbells, red/white/ blue "clappers"; volunteers with water and gatorade and participant medals; National Guardsmen pointing the way to the showers and the finish line.
For me, it's the motivation that keeps me moving all year long. I know that if I don't walk regularly through the course of each year and if I don't train properly, January through April, I will "die" when it comes to the Mini. The exercise should be a regular part of my life anyway - the Mini is just the "hammer" over my head to keep me on task.
The joke at dinner last night was about the details that are important to me as I approach this day. I can tell you how many miles I need to walk each week since January. I can also tell you exactly when I want to eat half of a powerbar along the way, which stops are for gatorade and not water (I prefer gatorade), and where the restrooms are. I know every specific piece of clothing I intend to wear and why, and depending on the temperature, which shirt I will wear and "throw away" along the way as things warm up. I came to the conclusion that if I were that careful with other areas of my life, I might be much more successful in some of them!
When I got home, I registered for next year - May 8, 2010. It's all about the motivation for me. It's a good discipline for me to do, and a generally fun experience.
I likely will take Monday off, though. :-)