The Pigeon Runs a Marathon

I have a good friend who is responsible for getting me into running. She also loves children’s books, and started giving Munchkin the Pigeon books way back when he was a baby. If you’re not familiar with the Pigeon books by Mo Willems, then hie thee to a bookstore and indulge, because the Pigeon is a trouble-making, suspicious, long-suffering bird who usually ends up doing the right thing in the end… and he’s hilarious. For parents, I mean. I’m not entirely sure that kids understand the inherent humor in the Pigeon’s recalcitrant behavior.


My friend was running the Missoula Marathon – and I wasn’t. I’d run afoul of a pothole and wasn’t running that year, but I still wanted to encourage her. So my husband and I got a few sheets of poster board, pulled out Munchkin’s markers, and settled down to whip up a few signs. I drafted up a couple of basic “Way to go!” signs, but felt they were maybe a little too generic. I wanted a way for her to know that the signs were for her, from us, so I proposed using the Pigeon as a personalized sign to get her attention. It blossomed into a full story – and two trips to the store later (for more poster board and another set of markers!) – we had our story.

This was actually back in 2012, but I realized I’d never put them on the blog. So with apologies to Mo Willems (and also my thanks, because I couldn’t have done it without his books), here’s the full story.


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(Two notes; When I ran the full marathon in 2011, they provided chocolate milk at the finish – although apparently they haven’t done it since. Also, one of the aid stations near the end provides orange slices every year… just a little context to help the signs make sense!)

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