A spectacle of human accomplishment. A feat that is accessible enough that anyone can train for and attempt, yet difficult enough that few ever do.
An event that brings people together of all backgrounds, all income levels, all nationalities. A sport that is often dominated by the minority of the world.
A day where runners, despite their personal goals, will not hesitate to throw those goals out the window to support another runner. Sometimes even to their own, major personal detriment.
During the 2010 Zheng-Kai marathon Jacqueline Nyetipei Kiplimo
from Kenya saw a Chinese elite disable athlete struggling to drink water.
She ran with him from the 10km to the 38km mark aiding him through all the water stations.
This slowed her time — she came in 2nd in the race — not only costing
her the win but also the $10,000 cash prize.
An event where, just two years ago in Boston, terrorists showed up and set off bombs. The result of which included three deaths and close to 300 injuries - some so grave that emergency amputation was required. Yet despite those losses, some of those very people who were injured turned around and repeated the marathon yet again.
This weekend is the Twin Cities Marathon. And unfortunately, despite all of the above triumphs, a local group has chosen this event as their platform to protest. Their goal is to shut down all runners. To prevent all of the above from being completed.
While I am not running the Marathon, I am competing in the 10 mile. And regardless of my distance category, for the life of me I just cannot understand why anyone would choose to interrupt an event that encapsulates all of the above.
But knowing the running community, I also question if these protesters will even stand a chance. Because we're talking about people who will run in sub zero temperatures, people who push themselves to true physical failure and actually have to crawl to the finish, people who will literally shit themselves and still keep going. I just can't see people like this letting a few folks standing in the street stop them.
So this weekend, I say - go for it, runners. You've pushed this hard. Don't let a little set back keep you from finishing. Just push a little harder ... and you'll get there. To the finish you deserve.