Some friends of mine (non-running) are quite confused as to why this is a monumental event. Afterall, I have ran over 35 races since my racing debut in December 2010. Why is THIS race so important, just more miles?
To others, it is an "it's about time" attitude (from my running friends)
When I think about running that event, I always go back to one thing - the people.
Yes, the racers were incredible, actually - AMAZING
The Staff and Volunteers were beyond SPECTACULAR
But, what I remember most are the faces of those standing on the side of the street cheering on all the racers. Some were holding signs of their loved ones, some were standing outside with oranges, candy, pretzels, Vaseline (yes, Vaseline) and some were just standing there applauding.
I locked eyes with many of them and I saw the look in their eyes as we passed by.
I saw how they looked at the racers and wished they could do the same.
I saw how they spectators wanted to be where we are.
To all the spectators of Los Angeles County - you can.
There are some of us who finished in less than 3 hours (my teammate did!)
And there are many who finished in 7 hrs.
Of all the miles that made me cry was the start and turning the corner at Santa Monica and I saw the Finish Line in sight.
If every person could feel that moment to see the Finish within their grasp. The will of athletes to push themselves to that finish. Seeing a few collapse within feet of the Finish only to be swooped up by another athlete to ensure they would cross that Finish Line.
We might not be in the Olympics, but running down that road with an entire city cheering us on, was our Olympic Moment.
Join us. Accomplish something you thought you never could. 600+ days ago, I ran my first Mile. Well, if you can call it "running". Now, I am a Full Marathoner.
Dreams Do Come True. Even the dreams you didn't know you had until you crossed the Finish Line.
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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