In a few hours I will be leaving for Europe for a series of clinics in various European cities, and then to the origin of distance running—Greece. This is the 13th year I’ve served as coach for the Apostolos tour to the “original” marathon and I learn more every year. We have a chance to run on the hillsides overlooking the Aegean Sea, on trails like the ones used by the ancient messengers. I still get chillbumps when I put my feet in the foot grooves used by athletes over 2500 years ago, and take off down the ancient fields of competition.
The marathon race is a commemoration of the run of an ancient messenger, Phidippides. These were the first renaissance men—long before the renaissance. Not only did they regularly run 100 miles or more in a day. They had to negotiate deals, think on their feet, and overcome all types of dangers. This was an honored profession and brought out a series of capabilities and strengths that we find embedded in us when we push through a tough run and solve a problem that we couldn’t do at our desk.
Women also ran in ancient Greek games. Today, the primary demographic increase in running participation is driven by women. By methodically training, toward a goal, Women tell me that they feel a unique blending of mind, body and spirit as they push back self-imposed barriers. To finish any long run and especially a marathon, brings an amazing sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
One of the powerful contributions of running to our society is the raising of millions every year for causes that need it. Every one of us has either known a friend or family member with breast cancer or will know someone who acquires it. The Breast Cancer Marathon (Feb 17th) is designed to reduce the number of our friends, daughters, grand daughters who could get this disease. Every penny of the entry fee goes to research/care. You’ll save by entering before November 10th when the early entry fee expires—so enter now: www.breastcancermarathon.com.
This will be a fun weekend with Galloway pace groups/walk breaks, and many activities. But even if you can’t your entry fee will make a difference. Many runners who can’t travel that weekend are entering the race and running a half or full (or any distance) on that day.
We have many ways to receive the benefits of running…and help others!
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