I’m not sure if it was last year or the year before but I posted something here about how I felt about being told how much of “an inspiration” I was for what I was achieving. Whether that was one of our earlier half marathons or maybe the twelve races in twelve months, I forget now. But it was incredible to be told that.
Then I watch what I’ve seen tonight at the World Athletics Championships. Mo Farah giving his best but never really looking like it was enough. Incidentally I think I’ve watched Farah run twice live and he’s lost both of those races. Sorry about that.
Then the relative chaos of a 4×100 relay run where the British team always looked in control but you find yourself looking for Usain Bolt at the finish because he was there or thereabouts at the start of his leg but isn’t there now, only for the TV to cut to him lying on the track in obvious pain.
And then to reflect on it all a few moments later and consider that where that British relay team were celebrating,
I was celebrating myself with my wife a couple of months ago. The relay team cleared their summit just like I cleared my two hour target in Liverpool earlier this year. Or my sub 7 mile. Or sub 24 parkrun.
I look back on my running year so far with immense pride. I’ve cleared so many mountains already. Next week might be another one with it being my first and possibly only competitive 10k of the year. And then there’s the marathon in only a few weeks time.
You can’t help sometimes but watch something like that shocking and excellent relay victory and take something from it. Or when Paula Radcliffe ran her last London Marathon, taking the hand of someone nearby and running in with them, and feel a little bit affected by it.
For so much of the time running is a solitary thing, but it’s those times when you come together with others – whether as competitors, training partners or spectators. That’s when you can step back and take in what you’ve seen or what you’ve done. That acknowledgement of “I’ve been there” or “I’ve seen that” really brings it home.
I ran down lane 3 or thereabouts of the London Olympic Stadium with my wife next to me, us both holding a Jersey flag. These are the kind of experiences we live and live for. And I look forward to many more.