Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I run because I qualified for Boston....

In the running world, there are the elites who win races, go to the trials, compete against the best in the world, and inspire countless. They are so talented they seem like mythical creatures. 

If you're lucky, you might find yourself briefly caught in the vapor trail of one of these exceptional creatures at the beginning of a race only to see them pull away casually and effortlessly.

Then there are the rest of us. For the mere mortals (of which I am very much one), our moments of glory rarely involve winning a race or qualifying for the Olympic trials. 

On a good day, maybe we manage to place high in our age group or run a personal best that would barely qualify as an easy training run for someone at the elite level.

While the mere mortal runner will likely never attain the lofty heights of the elite level runner, we still have our brief, fleeting moments of glory.

All of us have them. They are the seminal moments you just never forget. They define you. If you're lucky, you have a handful of them. Keep running and you might bag a few more.

It is the hope of experiencing these moments that keeps you running when the weather gods are angry, when your legs feel like lead, and all seems to conspire against you.

For me, this list of seminal moments includes the first time I ran 10 miles, the first time I 'nearly' won a race, the first time I won a race, the first time I broke 5:00 for the mile, and many others that I am extraordinarily fortunate to have.

But, alone on the throne for more than a decade is my first time qualifying for Boston. It was in this moment that I believed I could do anything if I wanted it bad enough.

I will never be an elite runner. But, I will ALWAYS have Boston and arguably, there is no greater glory for a mere mortal runner than saying, 'I qualified for Boston'.

So, I will toe the line on 4/21. I will toe the line at the marathon that lit a fire under me like no other. I am at least ten years late to the party, but better late than never.

I will pay homage to a race that has in one way, shape, or form inspired me to explore my limits in countless ways.

To this race, I am eternally indebted.

I run because I qualified for Boston.....

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