UPDATE: After receiving a bit of feedback on this post about this, I took it down. Miss Zippy makes a strong point here and as others have pointed out, if your body hits that limit, you should stop. To clear up where I was coming from…she was extremely close to the finish line and also an elite runner. Crawling to a finish line that is within crawling distance when you are about to win a marathon is really a personal call, and not one I criticize. I did find it inspiring, though others may disagree.
Call me a cry baby.
I teared up watching marathon runner Hyvon Ngetich crawl across the finish line to a third place finish in the Austin Marathon yesterday.
I would crawl too.
Marathons are a monstrous undertaking. Monstrous that day and monstrous in the months before you run them.
Miles and miles and miles and miles.
Cold. hot. rainy. tired. hungover. hungry. fatigued. irritated. angry.
You do it anyway.
You run those miles so that on that one special day, they will all be worth it.
As an elite runner, Hyvon ran way more miles than I could ever dream to leading up to the big day. On that big day, it was going well for her — she was LEADING at mile 23!
I can only imagine that feeling, as I once came in 3rd place in a 5k in my age group and there were very few runners.
But she wasn’t willing to give up. She would crawl. Because the miles mattered, because the day mattered, because placing mattered.
Just seconds behind the 2nd place finisher, she crossed the finish line in 3:04: 02.
I just wish I had been there because I would have been crying in real time too!
If you’ve ever run your way to the end of a marathon, you know how sweet that finish line looks from a distance. And I can’t imagine how much sweeter it feels when you think almost didn’t get there.
Anyone who crawls to the finish line is an inspiration in my book — a symbol of determination that can be representative of so many other things we face in life.
That’s really what the marathon is about — life and it’s many battles.
So thanks to Hyvon Ngetich for reminding me of that this weekend. I’m so glad she made it!
Here’s the video: