The boisterous cheering at large races makes it hard to find silence amongst the miles.  In the spring of 2012, however, I encountered some quiet in a marathon that briefly wound through small towns with tree-lined, two-lane roads.  There was little room for spectators.  I was surrounded by runners, but it was so quiet I could hear our footfalls.  I was running with Beth, a girl I met that morning.  Although she lives states away and we rarely connect, Beth has become a cherished friend.  After nearly four hours of constant, animated conversation before the race and during the first several miles, we eventually fell into a comfortable silence, listening to the footfalls together.  There was comfort in our togetherness, and the silence didn’t…