Many people watch major marathons such as those in Boston, New York and Chicago to see who is fastest. I find it inspiring to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself at an exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more. 26.2 miles is a long way. The runner’s feet will slam into the hard road about 26,000 times. It also hurts ankles, legs, knees and hips. At about 20 miles the body’s store of glycogen fuel runs out. Runners whose bodies have not yet learned to burn fat will often hit the wall. They muster every last bit of whatever it is inside them to continue barely doing the survival shuffle. Then there is the hobbling around for several days after.
The professional athletes at the front are amazing but the drama is not with those who finish in a little more than two hours. It’s past the four hour mark and several miles before the finish line. I watched in admiration as two runners literally carried their friend, refusing to finish without him. Many without ectomorphic builds or innate ability struggling with everything they have just to make it to the finish line.
Explorer George Mallory, who died attempting to scale Mount Everest, once responded with: “Because it’s there.” when asked why he wanted to climb Everest. This answer says everything and nothing. The person with the urge to move outside their comfort zone, to see what lies beyond the next mountain or the next adventure, understands the answer. To the questioner, Mallory’s answer says nothing. Anyone who needs to ask this question does not feel the urge to explore and is incapable of understanding any answer. “Why run marathons?” is a similar question. Some don’t need to ask because the answer is already inside them.
It surprises me even now that I’ve decided to run the Chicago Marathon. I’ve never run more than 6 miles ar a time in my life and now I’m planning on 26. This October I’ll run with my son and my brother who will raise support for team World Vision, providing relief efforts for African children. Me? I’ll be running for Team Salute. It’s the only charity in the Chicago Marathon raising money for military personnel and their families. These soldiers and their families face many challenges- financially and emotionally- as they are deployed for active duty and when they return home.
HONOR THE SERVICE….REMEMBER THE SACRIFICE!
Please consider supporting Team Salute as they provide assistance and support to those who honorably serve and protect our nation every day.