Reuniting in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS — It certainly wasn’t a normal “reunion.”
Beth Chamblin (PHS class of 1986), Nolan Barrios (PHS class of 1986), Heather King (PHS class of 1995) and Esther Rodriguez-Thompson (PHS class of 1983) recently had a meeting “on the run” — literally. The four comprised the team of Four 40-somethings from Plymouth that placed 20 of 171 co-ed teams in the marathon relay event of the Go! St. Louis Marathon and Family Fitness Weekend. The April event attracted over 23,000 participants from 47 states and 12 countries in 2010.
“This is the first time that anyone on the team has participated in a marathon relay which consists of four people who each run approximately 6.5 miles to complete a full marathon,” said Beth. “I posted information about the relay on Facebook and asked if anyone was interested. I received a great response and was able to form the Plymouth team and a St. Louis team. The course goes through downtown St. Louis and Forest Park. It is a tough course with many hills. It was also a very hot day. At one point they closed the marathon because of the heat.”
The heat didn’t seem to bother the Plymouth natives who finished with a time of 3:54:35.
All four are experienced runners and athletes. Barrios who now lives in Minneapolis is an ultra-marathoner and triathlete. King who lives in Plymouth is a half-marathoner and marathoner and Rodriguez-Thompson who is also a Plymouth native is also a half-marathoner and marathoner.
“Esther’s husband, Bill Thompson, was originally on the team (hence the name, ‘Four 40-Somethings from Plymouth, Indiana,” said Beth. “When he decided to be our alternate, Esther recruited Heather who is actually 34. Since there are no age divisions in the marathon relay, having her on our team was not unethical, but I jokingly called her our ‘ringer.’”
“I ran cross country and track in high school and really didn’t get serious about running again until 2008 when I turned 40,” said Beth. “I looked in the mirror and said, ‘I need to get in shape.’ Running is good for my body, mind and soul. Now that I’m back into running, I actually have more energy. While I’ve participated in one half-marathon, I prefer 5K and 10K races.”
The meeting was a true reunion for Beth with Nolan and Esther. Running - and electronics - brought the friends back together.
“I haven’t seen Esther or Nolan since I was 14 years old, we reconnected a few years ago on Facebook,” said Beth. “I lived in Plymouth from 1975 until 1983. My family moved to Connecticut when I was in 9th grade. While I didn’t officially graduate from PHS, I consider myself to be a PHS graduate because those are my fondest high school memories. I currently live in St. Louis with my husband and our 13 year old son.”
While this is the first time the group ran together, it doesn’t appear that it will be the last.
“We plan to make the Go! St. Louis marathon relay a tradition and hope to put together more Plymouth relay teams next year,” said Beth. “Plymouth is a great town with wonderful people. I hope to return for my 25th high school reunion in August.”
For more Info about the Go! St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness Weekend you can visit http://www.gostlouis.org/about/our-mission.html
This story appears courtesy of the Plymouth Alumni Association Newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter and become a member of the Association at http://plymouthalumni.blogspot.com.

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