Last week, I was reading the ever reliable MSN.com news feed again. You know, the place that informs you about important news blurbs and fart jokes all in one blurb?
Yeah, I'm mature with my news sources.
Anyway, I ended up coming across this:
You can read the source information here, if you wish.
First off, before I get too far, I have to say - shame on whoever ditched this kid on course. If you agree to run a race with someone, stick with them. If they're having a bad day, help them work through it. Lord knows one day it will be your turn to suffer and you'll appreciate the partner who doesn't ditch you. Don't ever leave someone on course unless (1) they are old enough to navigate to the finish on their own, and (2) they encourage you to go forward without them.
Second, although the man is a marine and I'm appreciative of his service, there is more to this story than the man being in active duty and helping a kid out. Yet everyone is focusing on this. And by doing so, they're totally missing the point.
Why do I say this?
Because for any of you out there that have run a race, I know you have been the boy in the blue shirt above. There is nothing worse than starting a race, having a setback somewhere on course, and then struggling to get to the finish line.
Regardless of where I've been on course, any time I've ever been struggling, there has always been another runner behind me, next to me, in front of me... there to cheer me on. Or, me to cheer them on. Or, maybe we are commiserating our pain or celebrating our victories together. Whatever the situation, there is always a runner in the crowd there to just... be with.
This image - this is what running is all about.
Not marines, not children, not being left behind... it's about running.
Running is about getting out there. Pushing yourself to do something you never thought you could do, or to push yourself to do it again, maybe even better or faster this time. And despite the fact that everyone is at a race to get their own best time, I think every runner always want to see others finish as well.
The marine who helped the little boy to the finish.
The elite who sacrificed her 1st place purse to assist an armless marathoner rehydrate.
The track star who carried her opponent across the finish line.
This is the running community.