Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Will Not Stop Running

I am a runner. I don't run like one, I don't look like one but I am one. 

December 2006, I ran a full marathon in just under 6 hours. It was the most grueling race of my life. It was also my most exhilarating. I couldn't walk for 3 days after that and I stopped running for 2 years. 

In early 2009, I resumed running again with a group of friends who have become like family. Thanks to them, I haven't stopped since. 

For some of us, we harbour dreams of running what we deem the most prestigious of all marathon races, the Boston Marathon. For me, the dream is a distant one as it is near impossible to make the qualifying time. Yet,  I continue to harbour that dream because running a marathon is precisely about overcoming what we often think is the impossible.

Because a marathon is a race to celebrate a super human will and tenacity,  it generates a goodwill beyond boundaries. It is not uncommon for people to withstand extreme weather for hours waiting at the finishing line to see their friends or family run in. Or for strangers to stand by at the half way mark, with bags of bananas, handing them out to runners swishing past. Runners who can probably only manage a  fleeting smile and a single word of thanks and who they will likely never meet again. 

What happened in Boston yesterday shocked and saddened me. It felt really close to home. In fact, I knew these people. They were the people I ran with in all those races, they were the spectators who cheered me on. I mourn their passing; I cry for their loss. 

And that is why I will not stop running. In their honour, I will continue to run for as long as I can.