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075 Marathon or Marathoner 2009-04-27

2009 Music City Marathon

Saturday, for the first time EVER, I watched a marathon. It was amazing. 31,000 participants moving together, yet each very separate.

One leg of the marathon was staged close to our house, so my dog, Jake and I walked over to the curb in front of our friends’ house to check it out. We had front row seats to watch the waves of humanity.

Observing the marathon first hand was intriguing. First, there was the streak of top flight runners who didn’t look like they even touched the ground. Next came the very good amateur marathoners who also zoomed by but their feet actually touched the ground at least every now and then. Later came the recreational runners who had good form and moved with a grounded rhythm. And finally the rest of the participants moved past.

There were all ages in the marathon. There were all races of people represented. There were all body types. There were all levels of fitness. There was all levels of ability.

There were serious race faces and faces of joy. There were grimaces that winced with pain. And naturally there were faces of sweat, lots of sweat.

There were running clubs participating. As well as fund raising groups and groups just having fun. There were families who ran and walked together. There were wheelchairs (if that is what you call them, I only saw streaks as they zoomed by) and strollers. There were couples who ran hand in hand and dog lovers who took the time to stop by to pet Jake. A hula hoop group was toward the end of the pack as they wiggled down the street. I was a little surprised that there wasn’t a marching band to bring up the very rear!

All in all, it was a diverse city of movement.

One thing left me confused though... I expected most of the marathon participants to be runners. Instead most of the folks were just movers. They broke into a stride every now and then but then settled back into their walk. The heat of the day might have converted some runners into walkers, but I believed most intended to walk the course. Walking the course is okay, in fact it was great, it just was not what I expected.

I talked to my friend, Cynthia, about the masses of non-runners. It was hot and most of the walkers looked so out of shape that a five kilometer course would have been a BIG goal for them.

Cynthia listened, then explained, “they’re not mountaineers, they are just trying to climb a mountain.”

Translated they are not marathoners, they are just ordinary people trying to reach a goal. I hope they all won in their hearts and safely reached their goals whatever they might have been.

So thanks Cynthia for your insight and another note: by unanimous vote, Lisa is the very best cheerleader, EVER. She ran a tireless campaign.


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