Would I ever leave a race unfinished?
I don’t think so. Well, I haven’t yet.
The last full marathon I ran, I ran with a heel spur that was still barking. By mile 17 my foot was numb. To be honest, I thought about bailing out I was in so much pain. But I realized I had run so far from the finish line, there was only one way back. I could ask for help from an official, or I would have to get to the end somehow.
I was on mile 20 when I thought for sure my foot was done. I had 6.2 miles to the finish line. It would have been hard to give up going so far without a finish. So I put my head down, and trucked to the end.
I finished my first half in 1:55:34
I came across the finish line with a time of 4:21:58
I didn’t quit. I found a stride to get me to the end and put my foot in ice. And checked another marathon completed.
So, it got me thinking about runners that I have seen push themselves to such extremes, but still able to get to the end.
Gabriella Andersen-Schiess’s marathon finish at the 1984 Olympics was the first image to come to mind. Watching Andersen-Schiess work her way around the track, barely able to stand let alone walk makes your jaw drop. You watch medical personnel heed her requests to stay back – if they helped her she would be disqualified. She got to the end, and is immediately given treatment.
Just a few days ago, the Brownlee brothers competed in the World Triatholon Series in Cozumel, Mexico. Jonny Brownlee was set to win until he saw his brother Alistair struggling. Jonny gave up his win and helped his brother cross the line with a silver medal.
Turns out, if you look, there are a lot of stories of good sportsmanship out there. Athletes helping out other athletes, even competitors, to help when they are injured.
Good sportsmanship, hands down.
These runner’s, like I, would have a hard time leaving a race unfinished. Determination, good sportsmanship and brotherly love helped them to cross the finish line.