When I think of the word marathon, I am reminded of the one time I walked one with thousands of other people in Hawaii, over fifteen years ago. There were moments of excitement, of dread, of pain. It was completely physical, well, most of it. Mentally I needed to be prepared too. It isn’t too often the average Joe will head out to walk or run 26.2 miles in one day.
Way before the half way point, the crowd shouted and clapped. But that wasn’t for us, walkers struggling to push ourselves up hill. The applause was for the first place runner headed toward the finish line. It was thrilling to see such a feat be taken in long strides, determination, and in an eighth of the time it took us to walk the course.
There were many moments that had me reeling, dumb founded, and marveling, here are the highlighted:
Reeling: The time I peed behind a dumpster in an alley with twenty other females, because there weren’t any potties on that part of the course.
Dumb Founded: The barrels of water with sponges. When someone used the sponge, they tossed it on the ground and a volunteer put the sponge in the water again. Ewe! My mom got infantigo, a highly contagious bacterial skin infection, from this.
Marveling: In one word…Hawaii. Need I say more.
Even after all the pain of the last five miles; Where your walking muscles just didn’t want to walk any longer so you tried to relieve them by jogging and when you crossed the finish line with not a dry spot on your body, in utter fatigue, you just wanted to collapse and not move, but instead you hobbled your way onto a bus to take you to your hotel room where you wanted to sleep off the exhaustion, and where you rose the next day to tour the island. Even when…I would still do it all over again.