Friday, May 30, 2008

Running around

The Team

Self portrait
A dog's life

A loud explosion signals the start. There is jostle of bodies and those that arrived late sidle towards the fences and climb into position. The mass of people begin to move towards the large arch ahead. Like grains of sand flowing through an hour glass, the mass spreads as they pass the starting line and the little tag on my shoe tells a computer to start the timer. I start slowly, not to use up my precious energy too early. The pace is comfortable, my thoughts drift to other things as we pass some magnificent buildings and through the first tunnel. By this time anyone I had intended to run with is lost in the sea of pounding feet, each trying to overcome the physical challenge of keeping this up for 20 km. I see the first drinks station and aim for it. By now the sun is beating down hard, my body is starting to feel the heat. I reach for the bottle of water only to have it snatched by another runner, I reach for the next one. Finally! I quickly pour the contents over my head without stopping. At this point I feel pretty good until I notice the first distance marker: 5 km. Without a watch I think I have been going for ages and must be at least half way there! No such luck... I reel in the kilometers, each time looking for the sign, the road curves left and right, up and down, through a tunnel and past a lake. The sound of various bands and musicians can be heard along side the road, this gives me a much needed boost and the will to keep running. As I pass the 10 km sign I keep telling myself, okay, next will be the 11, then 12 then 13 and hey, before you know it 15! The only thing I didn't anticipate was the ever increasing pain building in my legs. At that point I tell myself, okay, just a bit of pain, just put up with it for an hour and it will all be over. So I continue. The sight of semi and unconscious runners on the side of the road and ambulance sirens blaring around me scares me a bit and I focus on how I am feeling. Am I loosing it? Do I really feel ok? I think so? But I don't want to end up like that! Keep going. 15 km comes and goes, then 16, 17 and there is a hill. I battle on, a large sign at the top of the hill tells me that there are only 2 km to go. By this stage the road is lined both sides by spectators, there presence spurs me on and I step up the pace. With the finish in sight my legs feel like rubber bands, I'm kind of bouncing along, no real control but it doesn't matter, I pass under the arch again. The sand clock is now in reverse as most of the 28,000 people, 56,000 feet and 280,000 toes mass together as everyone slows to a walk after crossing the finishing line. I struggle to remain upright, leaning on the mass of people around me. I hobble off to nurse my legs and relax, I made it, I did it without walking. I achieved my goal, so, what next? We'll see...



At 10:39 am, Blogger Galen said...

Nice one Benj. I like the bit about the toes. Heh heh.

At 2:44 pm, Blogger Mókus said...

Cheers and for Babsi too! :))


Post a Comment

<< Home