Open letter to Ironfolk
We sure hope cowbells, screaming throngs and a booming voice over a loudspeaker at the finish line are music to your ears. That will be the soundtrack for today's full-length motion picture, with emphasis on motion.
We also hope the sea of family, friends and, most of all, thousands of perfectly friendly strangers paints indelible images on the canvas of your memory, images that will warm you during life's coldest moments.
We hope you see signs that make you smile, that help you summon the courage and the strength to continue when your legs and your lungs feel like faltering. We hope the apocalyptic gentleman is back this year, just 100 yards or so from the finish line, placidly holding up a placard declaring "The End is Near." Because the end represents the beginning of your celebration.
Whether you've journeyed to Coeur d'Alene from the far side of the world or merely ventured down Government Way from Hayden, today you will earn a place in one of this humble community's most distinguished halls of fame. Admission is paid not by cash or credit card at our hotels and restaurants but by the sweat you leave on our streets and the inspiration you summon in our hearts.
Thanks for being here. Thanks for acknowledging our cheering and our cowbell ringing with a nod or a smile. Most of all, thanks for reminding us that with hard work, determination and courage, anything is possible.