Seriously, when we look around us and see the destruction, poverty and all the negatives that we humans create, being a part of a Marathon (or any distance race) is one of the best ways to reaffirm that there is still plenty to be proud of.
While running along next to Donna Campisi (www.rundonnarun.com.au) I was overwhelmed by the supportive nature of observers and the runners alike. We were running near the back of the pack and evidently this is where the real beauty is at its peak. At the back there is less ego, less concern about times and position, there is more smiles and way more talking. At the back we got to see people running for no other reason than to see if they could. For the runners around us, it was all about becoming a better version of themselves. It was such a pure thing to be a part of and not something I will forget quickly.
I observed countless displays of human kindness and selfless generosity. We spent some time with a ‘Spartan’ that must have been in his 70’s and was running his 35th consecutive Melbourne Marathon. Every time we came within earshot, he would fire a witty joke in our direction and show us his big grin which never left his face. I saw an overweight woman that looked like she was going to struggle with 5kms let alone 42, yet she shuffled off into the distance and finished well ahead of us. I saw runners that had dropped from the course, stay back and stand on the sidelines to cheer on those that came behind them. I saw two people that were close to throwing in the towel and after joining our crew, were able to get to the finish line. And of course, I saw a woman who had not run for the last 35 years complete a Marathon. Following her Stroke at the age of 8, Donna was unlikely to ever walk again. Man, did she prove her Doctors wrong!
Sometimes I think that my running occupies too much of my consciousness and that I shouldn’t put so much of myself into it. I wonder if my life would be so different if I didn’t have running in it. Would it really matter if I didn’t run?