Run runner!

Yesterday my boyfriend woke up to the usual cheering and applause, but this time it wasn’t just from me. This particular morning there was a crowd outside his bedroom window of folks encouraging this year’s Chicago Marathon runners. Now I have to admit that I have a really weird reaction to the marathon and I’m addicted to it. I get choked up and actually shed a few tears. Yeah, laugh. Whatever. But how can you refute the beautiful moments that crop up, one after another after another as these people, many who are nowhere near being what you and I may consider “tip-top marathon runner” condition, stagger desperately to the next stride in their 26.2 mile trek?

One of my favorite interactions was when a young woman, obviously beat down and barely making it, face sagging in defeat, saw her two best friends come running toward her from the sidewalk to take the next few blocks by her side. They didn’t have to drag themselves out, but they saw their girl taking on a big challenge and were there to make sure she didn’t give up on herself. The new surge of energy was immediately apparent. She straightened up, smiled, and even bounced along with her cheerleaders in tow.

There were people running for lost loved ones, family members, soldiers, political and religions causes, or even just for the White Sox. People run for their home countries, onlookers proud to see their heritage represented in such a righteous way. People run because their size 16 bodies made people scoff, so they did it as a supreme flip off to those who said they couldn’t do it.

Possibly as moving as the runners themselves are the people who come out to cheer them on. Many participants run in shirts emblazoned with their own names, ensuring that they will have mile after mile of motivating hollers. “Go Betty from Canada!” I didn’t know her, but she was too cute jogging alongside her sister so I couldn’t help but yell.

And of course, I couldn’t help but be moved. And if a tear or two dripped out, sue me. You might have let it slip too.

1 Comment so far

  1. steven (unregistered) on October 11th, 2005 @ 8:04 am

    Glad I’m not the only one who feels this way!

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