The Colour of Motivation

Saturday, you may or may not recall, was the St. Patrick’s 15k Phil and I were planning to run. 800 runners determined to “Paint the Town Green”. Nothing but fun.

Except that I couldn’t run. Still. I’m trying VERY HARD to be smart. And since it seems that my foot needs one more week to finish healing, I’m taking one more week off. (Not to say that I haven’t been a little twitchy and grouchy lately, but I’m trying.)

On Friday race organizers posted a request on Facebook for more volunteers. And I thought, “Why not??? What the heck???” I was going to be there anyway cheering for Phil, might as well be helpful.

runners at the start
800 runners. Lined up for four blocks.

It’s been several years since the last time I volunteered at a race, and it was a revelation. All those runners. Sweating. Hurting. And…smiling. My co-volunteers and I were handing out strings of beads and giving directions at the last turn on the course.

We cheered them on. We promised them it was only four more blocks. We whistled and clapped and yelled.

And the runners? Thanked us. Smiled. Gasped. And said thanks.

phil at the turn 2
Here comes Phil. Four more blocks, Babe.

It was more than a revelation; it was motivation on steroids. I will heal. I will keep running. I love these people. They’re my tribe.

The 70-year-old woman who was completing her first race. The plus size runners who refused to give up. The exhausted woman who finished in 2:30:whatever with only the course sweeps for company.

I have only one thing to say to all these stubborn, hardworking, sweat-stained athletes, “Congratulations. You make me proud to be a runner.”

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