The Last Place Finisher

So last night we had a really successful social run.  Prolly around 100 peeps.  Plus lots of sponsors, foods, beers….even free massages!  I felt pretty good during the run – cruised along around 7:45 per mile for 3.5 miles.  But more importantly, got to hang out some really cool folks on a cool evening.

We tri hard to fit everyone in our pics.

We tri hard to fit everyone in our pics.

Prolly the last run I’ll do before Sunday’s 5 mile race.  Too Cold to Hold won’t be too cold I hope, but just cold enough to get a good pace going.  After the heat and humidity during the Disney Marathon, I’m really looking forward to running a race in cooler Texas temps.  Never thought I’d say that.

I’ll fill y’all in on the race come Monday.  But for now I just had one other runner thought running through my mind.  After the Disney Marathon I stretched, had a snack, took some pics, changed clothes, rested, chit chatted, and eventually we made our way into Epcot to get some runners’ lunch, or runch.  But on the way in, we noticed there were people still finishing the race.  We knew we had a friend walking it and decided to wait for him.  We didn’t know where he was, but the race was already well past the 7 hour time limit and there were still folks doing their darndest to finish.  That was something to see.

I’ve never watched the very last runners of a race before.  To watch them giving everything they had just to finish was inspiring.  Most were walking.  Many not in the best of conditioning.  Prolly all were in considerable pain.  Some had ice bags strapped to their ailing knees, hips, shoulders, etc.  But they kept on.  Some were merely strolling, but some were trying to run.  So we cheered them on.  It’s easy to cheer for the people who finish first, but more often than naught, the ones in the back are who really need the cheers.  We called them by name if we could read their bibs.  We showed them the medal they are about to get.  We tried to help inspire their finish, but in reality, they inspired us.

We did eventually see our friend, and he was thrilled for our support.  After all, not many people were left to cheer nearly 8 hours after the race began.  We stayed till the last runner passed us.  The Disney crew shortly behind her picking up the barrier cones that lined the race course.  I don’t remember her name, but I’m glad we saw her on the way to finishing.

One of the funniest, but also cruelest signs I saw someone holding along a race course was, “The Kenyans finished half an hour ago.”  True, the first to cross the line of the Disney Marathon finished 5 or so hours before the last participant.  But they both did it.  So did all those others in between.  Good on us all.  Good on everyone who gives it a go.

Peace and running grease.

 

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