Paraphrasing Julius Caesar – ‘They came, They saw, They ran’…and what a run they had. It was misty and overcast throughout the Mercedes Marathon and Half Marathon but that did little to dampen anyone’s spirit. It was terrific to see so many demonstrate what we’ve known (and preached) all along, It’s fun!
We frequently talk about ‘speed’ and how fast someone ran this or that and deservedly so. We marvel at the ability of people who run faster than we do and oftentimes celebrate them. Run U had our fair share yesterday with Georgia Izard claiming 4th Over All Female in the marathon, Lindsay Warren winning her age group and Maggie Edmunds setting a PR at the Disney Princess Half.
As I spent time out on the course running in various people I got to see runner’s who’s defining characteristic wasn’t speed rather it was determination, desire, and dedication (yes I use Oxford comma’s). I saw Kelly Garner who one year ago was lying in a hospital bed recovering from numerous operations to repair muscle and bone damage from a fall into a ravine. You may remember him as the ‘Good Samaritan’ during the January snow event who went missing in said ravine for 12 hours. Yes, he came back from that hospital bed to run his first Half Marathon.
I saw Noel Graham who’s done C210K all the way to the Half Marathon previously only to have her life interrupted by heart disease and subsequent open heart surgery. She came back after a year away, started over again with C210K. Then her friends/running buddies (the Gray Mafia) support and inspiration brought her all the way back to the Half Marathon…again.
There were so may stories that unfolded as time ran by with the participants over the miles. Run U had over 20 first time Half Marathoners and Marathoners (as well as numerous ‘race recidivists’) that demonstrated their own personal dedication, desire, and determination.
Moms, working and stay at home that have to structure their days and weeks around training. Professional men and women to whom time is always finite planning and scheduling their days and weeks to get the runs in.
I think I admire them, their dedications, desire and determination more than ‘speed’. These everyday heroes pursued their dream with a will that would most likely match that of most Olympians. They each had their ‘Gold Medal Moment’ (well, in the case of Mercedes it’s chrome) as they crossed the Finish Line.
They knew then, if not before, the Golden Rule of athletics – You don’t have to finish #1 to be a Champion…..and they earned the medal to prove it.