People who run marathons and other long endurance races are very high on the wow-factor list for me. My father ran one marathon in 1992 and my brother ran a few marathons too, promising his legacy is not through: he insists he will run again.
I admire them for their perseverance and strength. I don’t remember my father’s plight very well, but I remember my brother’s races. It took a lot out of him and was pretty amazing to witness.
My father has been a dedicated runner for as long as I can remember. He’s kept running journals over the years and even pushed through a few injuries he encountered while out on the road. He bought a treadmill a few years ago and can typically still be heard on it well before what I would consider the crack of dawn.
My brother was a cross country runner throughout middle and high school. His high school, Detroit Catholic Central, had quite a good team. They required attendance at a summer running camp somewhere up north in which, at the end of the week, each boy participated in an 18 mile run. Craziness, I say.
They ran races together a lot and always tried to drag me along. I won a race once in our town of Belleville for the Strawberry Festival. I’m pretty sure I only won because I was one of very few females running. They always ran the Detroit Turkey Trot with some friends of ours. It’s a race that is held on Thanksgiving every year. They offer the Mashed Potato Mile, 10k Turkey Trot and 5k Stuffing Strut – still not quite clever enough titles to get me to join in the race. My Thanksgiving plans include two things – sleep and eat.
One of my favorite things to watch is the televised stories that air throughout the Iron Man Triathlon. On top of the typical 26.2 mile marathon, entrants in an Iron Man also endure a 2.4 mile ocean swim and 112 mile bike ride. The entire thing lasts well longer than your typical work day. Not only are these people phenomenal athletes, but something as taxing as an Iron Man requires an incredible amount of mental strength.
The men’s world record for a marathon was recorded this year – just 2 hours, 4 minutes and 26 seconds. The best women’s was in 2003 – 2 hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds. That’s awesome – there’s 2 hour periods of time in my life last week when I can’t even remember what I was doing.
And so, I salute you, you incredibly ambitious jogging friends of mine. You’re definitely the DIFF. You have a stranglehold on average and excellence is waiting for you at the finish line.