Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The mystique of a marathon…

 Mile 18 and feeling great!

A year ago today I was preparing to leaving for London to participate in my second London Marathon. Friends Joni and Danielle were with me and a couple of days later Elizabeth, Taya and Alisa arrived in London making the SP Liberia ladies marathon group complete!  Many of you donated, prayed, encouraged and supported me as I ran this great marathon the past 2 years-and for that I will be forever grateful. 

This year-in January I decided not run the London marathon.  I wanted to give others the chance of running this great event, one of the major marathons in the world, and I also knew that I would have a crazy busy Jan-March-and although I knew I would get my training in-it would be very hard to do!  However, deep down I also knew that for my next marathon-wherever that may be-I wanted to train harder to cut my time.  You see, I have a little secret goal in my heart and mind that I want to shoot for: Qualify for the Boston marathon...

 Stampede to the water station! 

 Mile 1 got to start somewhere right?  Only 25.2 more to go...

Yes, I know what that means.  At my age-I need a 3:45 time to just qualify-that is a full hour and 9 minutes less than my London marathon time last year!  Mercy!  But there is something about the historical mystique of Boston-the great stories that come out of this monumental race. Unfortunately, this year another story has come out of this sacred race for runners.  

Last week I was (in a very animated and passionate way) talking to Kendell about how excited I was that last Monday's Boston marathon was going to be on TV over here in Liberia.  He tolerates my rambles about running in a very supportive "uh-huh, interesting..." kinda a way.  After listening to me go on and on about marathons and Boston and how I want to qualify - he asked "What is the big pull or desire to run a marathon?"  After I gave him the 'look' that only a wife can give-I explained to him-one athlete to another-the amazingness of a marathon.  Running a marathon like London or Boston-I get to line up at the same starting line, run the same course and cross the same finish line on the same day in the same event-as the world's best.  I think it is the only sport that can happen.  I can't play in the Super Bowl or the Stanley Cup (how awesome would that be! :)  Or play a round at Augusta with Tiger.  BUT I can run in the same race as defending London marathon champion Wilson Kipsang and Olympic marathon champion Tiki Gelna and other greats like Ryan Hall, Kara Goucher and many others.

 Danielle with the 'Sasa'!

That is the mystique of a marathon- no bomber can take that away from any of us runners or fans.  This year I will watch the great London marathon and reminisce every turn, bridge and land mark as if I was there.  Pointing out where I first saw Taya holding the Liberian flag, Joni taking pictures-and where I heard Danielle and Alisa shaking the sasa with all their might with Elizabeth cheering-the hugs and high-fives from all the girls and the great fun we had.  
 Taya on the lookout for SP runners!

The simplicity of running-how we were born to-is to beautiful and good for us on so many levels to be threatened or feared by those who want us to live paralyzed in a security bubble.  No way, not me-I live and serve a God to big for that-who has made me to run-who has made me to dream that even little, over the hill me, with His strength can one day qualify for one of the greatest races in the world.

Can't put into the words the joy capture in this photo!