Only four days out from the 2012 Comrades Marathon. Here is some inspiration for those running and an explanation for those not. I’m not sure where this comes from but I thought I would share it with you:
It begins at the break of a new day, that one day each year, where a special band of people, that select few. Of every gender, every race, every creed, every age, from every walk of life, and from every corner of the earth, come together.
They are here to begin a journey, that, at its conclusion, no matter how far they have travelled, every single one will have been defined. Whether we finish the race or not, it is the fact that we stood shoulder to shoulder at the starting line, that makes us winners. True winners of this auspicious occasion.
There is not one, when the sun sets on that day, that will not stand tall. In amongst the fastest, and the slowest, can say with pride, that they took part in that day of days, the race of races….. The Comrades Marathon.
It is not just a race, it’s much more than a race, it is a mountain which every single participant will attempt to cross, to summit, or to conquer. It’s a life changing event, one in which everyone will dig deep into their human reserves, in order to overcome some of the biggest obstacles and challenges that each and everyone will ever face in their lives. And on that day, whether they are running against the clock, or running to their own beat, each one is a giant, giants among men.
This is more than merely a seething mass of humanity, who come together on that appointed day. This is 14000 champions, 14000 winners, 14000 heroes, each and everyone there to take part, and to realise everyone else’s dreams, aspirations, their hopes and their goals. All to become one with one another.
There are those who will make is laugh, those who will make us cry, and some that will make us blush, and so many that will make us proud. It is here we learn the meaning of heroism, the meaning of respect for each other, and the true understanding of sacrifice. We discover that to help a fellow athlete or friend, is indeed to help ourselves. Whilst kilometres fall away behind us, it is the road that lies ahead that makes us true to ourselves, and make us true individuals.
Everyone’s personal best is measured not in time, but in endurance, and also in the belief of ones own abilities, no matter how small or brave that individual might be. The ones that stand tall on that day are each and everyone. Those that end their race, whether is be in pain or glory, will carry those traits like medals forever. And to those who venture out on this occasion for the very first time, with a fleet or heavy footing, are to discover that this is not a race or a marathon, it is a journey, a journey of discovery. On in search of ones inner self. A day in your life you can proudly say, that you have taken part in one of the most gruelling challenges know to man. The Ultimate Human Race.
To the true Comrades, they will have found that all have become one and are revered by all. And that in its self is the miracle called the Comrades Marathon. The greatest ultra marathon event in the world.