Welcome to this month's newsletter -- Finishing at the Back-of-the-Pack
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Have you ever finished last in a race? If you have, I have great admiration for you and I salute your efforts!
Recently, I had the rare experience of seeing a race through the eyes of a spectator. My running club organized a charity trail race and many marshals were required so club members marshaled the race rather than run it. I have only marshaled a race once before so it was a rare experience for me to watch runners race.
It was a trail race and I was assigned to marshal at a point on the trail with a three-way junction. I would direct runners to the right on the approach and straight through on the return. The route included two laps so I actually saw each runner four times.
By the end of the second lap, I felt like I knew these runners. I observed how some of them really struggled and others not so much. It was obvious that running is naturally easier for some people than others.
At the back-of-the-pack there was a lady in a bright pink top. She was far behind the last runners ahead of her. Watching her, I developed a great sense of admiration as I realized what a brave and courageous soul she was.
It must take a lot of courage and mental strength to run a 10 km race knowing that you will probably finish last. Running that distance must also have been very difficult for her, but it was a goal she set for herself and she was determined to succeed.
When you think about how challenging it must be for those runners at the back-of-the-pack, the fact that they finish the race makes them the true winners! The physical and mental challenge they face is far greater as more determination and effort is required. They struggle and work hard to finish the distance and are often running for double the amount of time.
We are not all created equal in our physical abilities.
"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware."
-- Martin Buber
If you are like most runners I know, you are probably just concentrating on improving your PB--which is a great goal. However, I don't think trying to improve your PB takes as much effort or courage as it does for those runners who really struggle to finish a race and often finish at the back. I don't think I would have that much courage if I was in that situation. Would you?
The next time you attend a race either as a participant or a spectator, watch for the runners who finish at the back-of-the-pack. Their struggle is far greater than anyone else's--but so is their success!
Applaud them as they cross the finish line. They have bravely achieved their goal! Surely, they are the true winners!
So how about you? Have you ever finished last or near the back-of-the-pack or do you have great respect for those who do?
We would love to hear about your race experiences. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
As always, keep running, smiling and be happy and peaceful!
With love and peace,
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