My sister Cathi ran the Big Sur Triathalon this past Sunday - here is her play-by-play:
sunny morning, warm. almost missed the race, ran as fast as we could for 1 mile then hitched a ride with the sheriff after the fire department guys lobbied on our behalf. started at the front; did two eight minute miles. no problem. cruising, slanted road, whooping it up with my girlfriend. feeling good, some kinks, awesome day, sunshine, light, smiles. the road straightens out. move on, music, she takes the lead, hit Hurricane point, two mile hill, fall back... nine thirty mile pace. we're heading down toward bixby together, cross the bridge. big sky, sea lions yelp. kelp. frothy water, ocean air - lungs delighting. GU takes us through, tastes nasty, makes me go. Rocket fuel to the next level.
heading up the coast on a most delicious high. my friend moves ahead. it's her first race. each at his own pace.
go at your pace i tell her. run your marathon. don't wait for me. it's your race...
i tell myself. that's what i tell myself when i realize that every single person is passing me.
i am slow but i am content. i am running my own race. i run my own race. then there's this man by the side of the road. it's his time. he is dying. and we pass him and there is nothing we can do. we just keep running and wondering and running. because that's what we are there to do. we're supposed to run. we trained to run. so we keep running and it's mile 21. we hit the wall. kathy k is ahead. and it's hard to run your own race. because it's mile 21 and you hit the wall and it's hot and you think about that poor man. then the barefoot guy runs by and there are peace signs and people and they cheer you on and they call out your number and tell you that you are doing a good job. but you don't know anymore because you are at mile 24 and you are still thinking about that man and your feet hurt and your body is a mess. sweet relief: i see her again. it's my friend and i call out to her and we connect. half a mile to go. there's a photographer. hold my hand i tell her. hand in hand we make it. we made it. we did it. hand in hand we cross the finish line. and we think of the man, the man who didn't cross the finish line.