Sunday, April 11, 2010

Simply, John

Marathon Plan - Regressive Countdown - Week Four
04/05/10 - 04/11/10 - Week Total: 32.1 miles

I could mention many highlights for this week. I could describe how I ran my last long run of the marathon training season, a 20-miler. I could describe the feelings of getting in New York Marathon. I could describe my 12K race sponsored by our Seahawks football team. I could describe those things.

But I won't.

Last week's race, Easter Half in Rochester, WA, I met a runner that highly impressed me. His name, John. When he was coming back after the half turn around, he was leading the race and I was amazed by his stride. I thought, "he has to win". Indeed, he won. After the race, we talked for a while and his personality and humbleness impressed me even more. 26 yo kid, not totally dedicated to running.

Today, in the Seahawks 12K, we crossed paths again. We hugged as if we were friends for life. 2 minutes before the start, I shook his hand, and wished him the best. When I was in mile 2.5, he was coming back again leading the pack. Only the police escort was ahead of him. I gave him five, and I felt worried that I could have slowed him down.

After the race, during the awards ceremony, I confirmed he has won with a 5:14 pace. A nice Seahawks Football. I went to congratulate him, and talked for half hour. Again, his personality stroke me. He was just a regular guy, without pretensions. I was intrigued, why he didn't really dedicate to run? He mentioned that he needed to work a lot to sustain his family in Sudan. He has some plans, but needs to move wisely. I was really touched by how his priorities were clear. His family, mom, sisters, nephews and nieces, are first.

We talked about our next races, and wished each other the best and hoped to meet again.

At home I googled and discovered his amazing story. Please, take some time to read it (below the link). It is extremely worth it and teaches us to put everything in the right perspective.

So, the highlight of the week? Not a 20-miler, not NY, not a Seahawks race.

The highlight was Simply, John.


Petraruns said...

You're right LizzieLee - that is a wonderful and inspiring and amazing story. And it reminds me straightaway about what matters, and what doesn't. Thank you for posting this and keep encouraging him. Let us know if we can help him!

misszippy said...

Petra turned me onto your blog. What a great post--really love it. Such a powerful message. BTW--there's a really great documentary on the "lost boys" of Sudan that you might check out some time. It's called "The Gods Grew Tired of Us." (if memory serves me correctly--something very similar).