Having nothing really positive to say, I thought about a moment yesterday during the race, and that is what I have to write about tonight without complaining. (Sometimes it is just a stretch!)
As I wrote yesterday, this race was challenging. It was difficult and boring - not a good combination. It was also small, so there weren't people around every corner, that was why it was boring. 13.1 miles (actually 13.45) of just being alone out there isn't that much fun.
The course was an out and back, so I got to see people heading back as I was still heading out. As it turns out, I saw a LOT of people heading back as I was heading out. In smaller races, there aren't all those older and chubbier people to come in behind me. I was pretty much in the back of the pack. There were a few people much slower than me, and they were nowhere in sight - until I turned around and headed back.
Anyway, I got to watch the 10Kers coming back, they were mostly looking pretty serious. But then there was a bit of a spell between runners, and then there HE came. He looked nothing like those 10Kers. He was obviously the front runner of the half-marathoners. He was grace personified. He was beautiful.
I clapped for him. One person clapping. As he neared, I said "YAY!" He looked at me and flashed the most beautiful smile I think I have ever seen. It just melted my heart. The humility of the fastest acknowledging one of the slowest. Most of the fast ones just run with intensity and don't look at anyone. It was a golden moment.
His name is Mario Macias. He is one beautiful runner. And fast.
One of the things I love about running is that an old slow lady like me can participate in the same event as a world class athlete such as Mario. Oh, some of them resent the hell out of us, but most of them don't.
I did something I have never done before when I got home. I looked up the first place winner in the half marathon, just so I would have a name to go with that wonderful memory. For this post, I found a photo of him finishing another race.
I am grateful tonight that I am able to participate in any way in any of the things I get to do. It is a miracle. Someone who smoked 2 packs a day for 25 years and drank daily for 18 years. Amazing what can happen when we stop doing that crap! God created our bodies not only beautifully, but miraculously. Who would think we could recover from that? Well, we can, and we do!