Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Marathon Week…

26.2 miles is only part of THE MARATHON.  Sure the distance is daunting, no way around that, but the real fun of the run is the excitement generated during the event.

The starting line of a marathon is unlike any other gathering of athletes.  Other then the elite’ runners, the starting line of a marathon does not pitch two teams about to face off.  It does not square off two rivals attempting to prove who the better runner is.  The starting line of a marathon is more a running community, all ready to run 26.2 miles together, some to improve their time, some to meet a personal challenge, some to fight off father time, and some to give back to the community.  But the starting line is also a great place to people watch.

The sites you’ll see at the door step of a 26 mile and 385 yard highway is part of the event.  In one section of the starting corral are the serious runners, the few trying to win the race, the majority are trying to qualify for Boston, to achieve a personal best or to maybe beat their running buddy.  In another section is the bunch who are running just for fun.  This group includes the “Fancy Dressers”, the “Beer Stop Runners” and the bunch who see the marathon as more the event then the distance.  The charity runners make up a large population, some who are mighty competitive.  They run for a higher purpose, a calling larger then themselves…for this group the 26.2 miles will pay tribute to a loved one, or raise funds for a cause.  I always look to this group with great admiration…they give more then they receive.  The last group is called the Middle to Back of the Packers.  This group although working just as hard as the elites, but because of work, genes, family or other commitments can only achieve minimal success at the marathon distance.  Myself I fall into this group…

To me the marathon is a celebration of the run.  The serious runners will blow past me on their way to setting new personnel bests.  Some of the charity runners will beat me to the finish and I might better a few, but I’ll always admire the work they do to raise awareness for their cause or to say a last good by to a relative, a friend, a spouse or a fallen combat hero who can no longer run.  I’ll be able to pass a few of the Fun Bunch as they stop for a beer or two.  And when I’m really questioning why I’m still running at mile 20, the Fancy Dressers give me a well timed chuckle and a little bit of motivation to not get beat by a 6 foot tall running hot dog.

Oh the marathon…there is so much more to it then 26.2  miles!

My Shamrock shoes are ready….


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