Never give up and keep picking yourself up.
This is the advice given to Comanche students Monday afternoon by David McCord, Comanche native and CHS class of 1981. McCord personally knows a little about not giving up.
Exactly two weeks prior to Monday on April 25, McCord was running in the Boston Marathon. About a mile from the finish line, he was stopped and told he could not finish his first marathon due to a terrorist bombing. Knowing he was returning home for a few days, McCord’s family and friends helped him finally finish his last mile in his hometown.
“They are giving me a chance to finish and I am grateful for all the love and support,” he said. “I’m in the same shirt, the same shorts, the same shoes that I was wearing that day and I get to take back what was taken from me.”
When the time came for McCord to begin his four laps around Comanche’s track, he invited any students who would like to run with him down to do so. Students from kindergartners to seniors flooded the track to be a part of the momentous occasion.
They may have been encouraged or challenged by the speech McCord gave them before the run. He compared training for and running a marathon to the End of Instruction tests they are currently taking.
“I never gave up and never stopped believing in myself,” he said. “Failing in school is not an option, so when you want to give up, pick yourself back up.”
After the race, McCord took the opportunity to shake the hand of every student who ran the last mile with him. To each, he offered a congratulations and a positive remark.
“That was wicked awesome,” McCord said after he broke through his finishing line banner. “It made my day.”
Another positive that came from Monday’s event was money that was raised for one of McCord’s favorite organizations, the Stephens County Humane Society. Since October 2012, for every mile McCord has ran, he has given $1 to the SCHS.
When news of the “finishing mile” broke, T-shirts were made and sold that commemorated the occasion. More than 120 shirts were sold and more could have been if they had been available, said Linda Watson, CHS teacher and McCord’s friend.
“The sale was phenomenal and David’s friends have made large donations,” she said. “When we get it all in, we’re ending up with close to $8,000.”
In attendance at the event were a few of McCord’s canine friends form the SCHS, as well as their human supervisors Kelly Place, Patti Whitaker and Nicole Baldwin. Place expressed gratitude for all McCord has done for the organization.
“It is great and we are so honored and blessed to have a supporter like David,” she said. “We wanted to give him a certificate to express that gratitude.”
Never give up and keep picking yourself up.
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