Boston and the Joy of Running

I’ve been having conversations with some fellow bloggers from the UK over the past few days. Some are running London on April 21st and others want to run next year. Those who are running are having the same anxiety attacks as many Boston runners are having this morning.

Even the elite runners get butter flies before a race. Here is a tweet from Kara: “Kara Goucher@karagoucher 10 Apr Why do I feel like a kid a few days out from Christmas? Oh that’s right, because I get to race in the BOSTON MARATHON on Monday!!!!”

For runners at the elite level, they are all big races. When Ryan Hall or Shalane Flanagan

Ryan Hall, joy of running
Ryan Hall near half way point of 2009 Boston Marathon where he placed third. People in front of Wellesley College entrance in background. Robert Cheruiyot who won the marathon the previous 3 years can be seen to the left. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

run a marathon it’s in the news and the race is an event like Boston, London, Chicago or The Olympic Trials. The whole city gets pulled into the vortex and there is nothing low profile about these races for those runners.

For the rest of us, the race may be high-profile but we are not. We are part of that mass of runners who come by well after the elites pass by.

As the race distance grows, so does the gap between the elite field and the rest of us.

I don’t think any of us have a problem with that. None of us expect to keep up with Kara Goucher or Meb Keflezighi. Hell, I don’t even expect to see them let alone start with them at a race. It is an honor to run the same course on the same day as they did.

Under the same conditions we all can see how we stack up against the top athletes in the world. In what other athletic event would you be able to play on the same field as the best in the world? I could never hit like David Ortiz and would never want to stare down a 100mph fast ball like he does. I would look like a fool.

As a runner I do not feel beaten by the 20,000 who usually finish in front of me at Boston. The last time I rolled into Boston on a pair of Brooks the timing clock said 4:30. I was full of joy to have finished. I was tired, thirsty and things hurt. But I was not beaten by anyone. I was thrilled to have finished on a day in which many did not finish and many did not even start. I was thrilled to have run my own Boston PR.

I had MY goals and I achieved them. That is all I can ask for. Most of us do not have the talent or the time, or the drive for that matter, to become an elite runner. We run because we love it. We run because we are seekers; seeking to constantly improve ourselves and possibly get that next PR.

I feel great joy when I see the top runners cross the finish line and I always feel a bit of the disappointment the others feel in them selves when they do not. I am happy for their accomplishments and what they have achieved, even if it is 10th place, or a place closer to my own finish time!

Running is a beautiful thing. It changes lives. Embrace the joy of the run every time you run. Embrace your race and drink in the experience. It is a moment in time, it is a moment in your life that you want to experience fully.

Run well my friends.

© 2013 anagelin

Author: OmniRunner

9X Boston Marathon finisher, 17X marathons total. Sharing my love for running and the fun adventures and lessons that come with it. Helping non-profits increase fundraising and new runners celebrate their First 5K.

3 thoughts on “Boston and the Joy of Running”

    1. And maybe some day you will run it as well? There are a lot of opportunities to run on an invitational number from different groups. You do have to raise money, but that may be easier than running a qualifying time!
      Appreciate your comment!
      Cheers,

      Andy

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