Apr 15, 2010
The Czech Locomotive, Emil Zatopek, 3 time gold medalist in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki once said “If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon.”
The qualifying times of the Boston Marathon call us to experience a different life. It is not so important that we can meet the standards and run a BQ; it’s the whole idea that there is this threshold for excellence out there: a target by which we can measure our own performance.
I stand by the belief that anyone who runs and finishes a marathon, no matter what their time, has demonstrated an ability that marks them as athletically gifted within the human race. This is not to denigrate the importance or accomplishment of running or walking shorter distances such as a 5 or 10K road race; but in a world where only point one of one percent of our species has ever run an organized and official marathon road race to completion: the accomplishment deserves acknowledgement and admiration.
But if you’ve qualified to run the Boston Marathon, you are a step above we mere mortals. You have proven that you are worthy of standing at a starting line in a town called Hopkinton to run with runners of similar abilities towards a finish line in downtown Boston marking your name for all time in the official races record book as one who set a BQ, a Boston Qualifying time: and that is an honor you must cherish for all your life.
“Boston and St. John’s” by Great Big Sea http://www.greatbigsea.com