Last week I ran the Sydney half marathon. I have ran a half marathon before so that wasn’t a big deal but I had never ran it in an organised race and never with family. I loved every minute.
When I asked my boys a few weeks ago if they would join me they responded as teenagers would “yeah - but why run a half when you can full a full?”
So we each ran our own race, cheering each other on.
I had been the one who had taught them to walk and to find their rhythm running when they were little kids training for 3km school races and now they both ran their first full marathon. They ran faster, longer and with greater ease and stride.
And I couldn’t be more proud of them.
A number of moments stood out for me from the day:
Running over the Sydney Harbour Bridge at sunrise, the effervescence of the crowd I was running with, feeling a sense of joy and worship to God as I ran my race, the epiphany that running builds not only physical but mental strength that can be translated in any other area of life. The deep sense of connection and sense of accomplishment running with people I love… each in their own race, yet together.
My most memorable moment was cheering other runners on and watching from the sideline an elderly man who had clearly done a phenomenal job running the full marathon with the goal to come in under 4hours. The heat was punishing and the last hundred meters he started slowing down and looked weary as if he had a hard time staying up, he was almost falling to the left then almost to the right, about to faint, it was painful to watch. He had come so far and I was part of the crowd cheering him on hoping the noise would keep him up and give him the last burst of energy he needed. Suddenly two super fast runners - clearly running for their personal best time - came from nowhere. Yet, without talking to each other each had the same intent at the same time - they put their arms around him right and left and the three of them ran the last part of the race together, all of them safely crossing the finishing line. In under four hours.
It was the moment of three strangers joining together in moral courage, it wasn’t about achievement, it was doing what was right.
Yes we each run our own race in life AND we also run a race together finding strength in one another.
As to: why run a half if you can run a full? Sometimes in life it pays to pace yourself: Apparently the world’s most beautiful Marathon takes place in Queenstown...
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