Running Angel

This week I’m handing the pen and paper over to one of you.

I’m very fortunate that people write to me to tell me about the inspiring things that have happened in their lives. This of course motivates me even further to continue contributing to our running community. Sometimes though, the stories are just too good to keep to myself and I have to share them.

Today’s story comes from a participant in the recent Devlilbend Run.

Take it away Marie…

I had been sick with a hacking cough for about 3 weeks prior to the event, but by Saturday I was feeling Ok – but certainly not 100%.  I hadn’t been able to complete my full training program in the few weeks prior to the event so I’d never actually reached 10km! My longest run was 9km.

 But event day dawned fair, if cold, and I thought I’d give it a stab. Devilbend is close to where I live, it’s beautiful and the run is on dirt roads, which is what I’m used to.

So, I started very slow and planned to stay slow but increase speed a little on the return journey. I settled into place in the last 15 or so runners out of the 10km pack.

 Unfortunately, at 8km, my dreaded old left-leg under-butt pain kicked in – hard and sharp. So I did what I do when that happens, which is just stop and walk. Because it hurts. And I don’t like pain.

But then I heard voice behind me. “Mate. Don’t stop. You can do it!”  A woman who had been running just behind me most of the way quickened her pace to run beside me. She was working harder than me aerobically – I could tell from her breathing – but she was steady on her feet and in good spirits. I smiled at her wanly and explained about my injury. She continued “I’ve been using you to keep pace the entire way. Let’s run the rest together”. So we did. We ran the rest abreast. 50 m before the finish line she said “Shall we sprint over the finish line?” I pulled some speed out of my tank, and just before we crossed the line she said “You are fucking awesome”. I replied “My fucking leg hurts” (I know, very ungracious of me). Thankfully I pulled myself together enough to thank her once we’d crossed the line, almost in tears, but happy.

How cool is that? Thank you running angel.

Marie Antoinette

Thank you Marie for sharing your story with us.

Sometimes it is the smallest things that can make the most significant impact on people. For Marie, it was one person’s simple encouragement and willingness to show support that made all the difference to Marie’s experience of the event.

What amazing, inspiring or unforgettable moments have you had while running? We’d love to read them in the comments section below this blog.

Thank you for being a part of this amazing community we runners share and for doing your part to make it what it is.

Run long,


Shaun Brewster.


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