Many times running is very spiritual for me. Other times it’s a slog, where I count the metres to the finish and push through without feeling anything on an emotional level. In fact, running has been a little “barren” of late. Yes, I love doing it, but mostly after when I’m drinking a freezoccino or logging the mileage after. It’s not yet a chore, but not every long run has that electricity-through-the-veins feeling that they mostly used to have until about two years ago.
And then Sunday at Township Marathon happened. It was my first time doing it, and I think the only reason I never did it before was because Deloitte’s Marathon was always a day before, and habit and a fondness for that race kept me shlepping to Pretoria.
But this year I decided to do something different – mainly because I didn’t feel like going to Pretoria the day before the race to collect my entry.
So off I went to Eldorado Park, with mixed reviews of the race being lovely, flat and hard, boring, or full of dead dogs and cats lining the streets (WTF????).
For the whole race, I was in a happy space – alone, not talking much, taking pictures (this could explain my slow time on the day), Tweeting (this could also explain my slow time on the day) and feeling “that feeling” – the utter high, pride and love for something that sometimes comes at special races like these.
It was the scenery. It was the support of the people on the side of the road. It was the runners themselves – a smallish field in the 42km who ran without ego, bearing only manners and strong minds. I even saw a runner dash across the road to remove a boulder that was in the way of a car. He lifted it, then ran back across the road and back into the race.
Everything was great on the day, and I fell in love again with the long distance. It’s weird, but my heart opened up in a huge way on the day while I was running, and the love for this thing literally running through me. I say it a lot, but it’s a privilege to run in South Africa. And I’m privileged that I get to do it.
I hope you one day get to experience something in your life that you love, that inspires you, and that changes you for the better.
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