Marathon Memories (7)

The moment everything changed

At mile 24 taken by William

For 3 hours I had run at my most optimistic pace of 9 minute miles and was on track to jog up The Mall in just under 4 hours. I had done the loop around Greenwich, crossed Tower Bridge, gone through Canary Wharf and was heading for home. Then, everything changed.

From side-stepping slower or stopped runners, dodging flying discarded water bottles or just the sheer toll on my ageing body (!) my left knee suddenly became excruciating. I was in trouble. I knew if I kept running the pain would probably force me to stop but if I stopped, to walk, my body would start to seize and I might never get going again. I was caught in a walk-a-bit run-a-bit cycle. Suddenly 6 miles, a distance I had run most days for months, seemed a very long way indeed.

The moment when ‘everything changes’ happens to all of us. We can probably identify a time in our lives when out of a clear blue sky we faced news or circumstances that made, in just a moment, everything look different. Suddenly the way ahead, once filled with hope, seems hard, even overwhelming.

Maybe you are in that moment right now, or you know somebody who is.

As I struggled on for those final miles something happened that made all the difference. Suddenly, unexpectedly, out of the crowd, I heard someone call my name.  The voices were familiar.  William and Yvonne, friends from church, were at the edge of the crowd.  It made a world of a difference.  Just the fact that they were there.  Just to hear them cheer me on. The facts were unchanged.  I still had over 2 miles to go and my knee was still agony. But their presence made a huge difference.

You can do that too.  Who do you know for whom everything has changed  or for whom the way ahead is hard or overwhelming?  Why not make the effort today just to cheer them on? You might not be able to change their circumstances but you might be amazed at the difference you make just by being there.

Thanks William and Yvonne.

On April 17th 2011 I ran the London Marathon. Here’s why. You can donate here (this page will close on 17th July 2011). You can read more marathon thoughts here (once they are published).

2 thoughts on “Marathon Memories (7)

  1. Simon! Loved this.. brought back lots of memories-some good some painful 🙂 Hope you are doing well-never got a chance to see you after the race but super impressed with your time! Take care-
    Bev

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