Of Being A Runner

“The reason we race isn’t so much to beat each other,… but to be with each other.”
―    Christopher McDougall,    Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Like most, we spent a sobering morning watching the news and the aftermath of the bombings yesterday at the Boston Marathon. That the horror occurred at the finish line, only adds to the dismay. For anyone that has ever completed a significant race, or has stood on the crowded sidelines cheering on a loved one, you know what that moment brings. You know how that moment feels. More importantly you know what that moment means.

Most of my circle of runners, are runners for a reason. They run for sanity, they run for socialness, they run for their health, and most often they run for others. No matter WHY you started running, it seems inevitable that as good people, you end up some where racing to raise money and to promote a good cause. For me, I started to run during my separation from my first husband. I now run for sanity, but I race for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

I say this, because as personally challenging and inspiring as running is, I do truly race to be a part of the energy and to be with like-minded people running for a like-minded purpose. But no matter your reason, the moment you cross that finish line, or you see your loved one limp, hobble, or sprint across, you are emotional and elated. It is an unprovoked and immediate response of sheer appreciation.

That appreciation was ripped from so many yesterday. An unfair and cowardly act of hostility and horror forever changed the “finish line” for every one who runs, every one who has ever aspired to run, and for every one that supports a runner. In 12 days, thousands of people will join in DC to run Nike Women’s for the LLS. Many of them will be Team in Training heroes, and many more will simply be great people who run for their own reasons. Regardless, we will all run together. We run for ourselves, we run for those beside us, we run for those that can’t, and we run for those that will again. 

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“It was being a runner that mattered, not how fast or how far I could run. The joy was in the act of running and in the journey, not in the destination. We have a better chance of seeing where we are when we stop trying to get somewhere else. We can enjoy every moment of movement, as long as where we are is as good as where we’d like to be. That’s not to say that you need to be satisfied  forever with where you are today. But you need to honor what you’ve accomplished, rather than thinking of what’s left to be done.”
―    John Bingham,    No Need for Speed: A Beginner’s Guide to the Joy of Running