So I was getting ready for work yesterday and flipped over to the tv coverage of the Boston Marathon. (I love Xfinity’s voice-activated remote control “find Boston marathon”. It’s the best thing ever.)
The broadcast had a split screen (kudos to whatever station I was watching!) so you could see the Elite women and the Elite men running side by side. There were 5 women in the lead pack at mile 12 or so and about 10 men in the lead pack at maybe mile 8.
As a runner and a marathoner I had a few thoughts as I watched.
- Their form was tight. Arms close to the body, upper body relaxed while their legs turned over quickly.
- Zero emotion on their faces. Like ninja warrior runners.
- Damn. They were fast but looked like very little effort.
- I bet their race pictures always looked good.
Watching a marathon is pretty exciting because at this level you know there’s strategy playing out, there are mental games going on and there’s going to be some movement in the pack as one or more runners starts to break away or drop out because they can’t handle the 5 minute per mile pace. I know. Right??
Watching a marathon is also pretty inspiring. My favorite moment was when Kathrine Switzer lined up in her starting corral with her 261 Teammates. (Kathrine Switzer, for those who don’t know is the first woman to enter the Boston Marathon, back in 1967. What made it such a historical event is that it was a men’s only race and that she was almost dragged off the course by the race director. I’m sure you’ve seen this photo before.)
Anyway, back to my moment. In the corral was Kathrine Switzer and the ladies who were running on her team. All wearing maroon sleeveless running tanks with 261 emblazoned on them. All ready to crush Boston. Loved it. The crowd cheered, she waved. Loved. It.
I was inspired.
Even more inspiring was that Kathrine Switzer rocked a 4:44 marathon. At age 70. Drop the mic. Walk away.
Now go run!