If you are looking for a reason to start running, I have some free motivation for you. Go observe the finish line at the next 5K or any other race in town. I’ve run in many races before, but I developed an entire new perspective when I stumbled upon a race finish line while on vacation in Asheville, NC.
What I saw that day was how running brings people together. Usually hundreds of people are doing something early on a Saturday morning for a good cause. Many are running to achieve a special milestone with their health, and it could be someone’s first race or their 100th. Here are some other things I noticed:
-Families and friends hugging each other. Lots of quotes like “you did it”, “I am so proud of you”, “I can’t believe you are here” and “I will never forget this day.”
-People crying after making it through the finish line.
-Posterboards from little kids titled “You can do it Mom/Dad. I love you. You are my hero.”
-Young kids finishing the race. I always smile when I see these.
-People raising their arms in their air as they run through the finish line. It could be families finishing together like this picture below.
-Dogs running to embrace their owner. I love to watch these…if you leave your dog for even 30 seconds they think you left forever, right? My little brother brought mine when I finished a half marathon recently. Yes, he got a medal too.
-People ringing bells, playing music and yelling wildly when they see their loved ones.
-Perfect strangers walking up to each other and saying “how did you do…that is fantastic…I am so happy for you.”
I sure walked away from that finish with a big smile on my face.
The great thing is you don’t even have to have a big family at the finish line to experience this. I run many of my races by myself or with a just a friend or two. However, I feel really connected to perfect strangers who come up and ask if I achieved my goals. No one wants to compare themselves to me or one up my time, but they genuinely just want to know how my race went. I saw this happening that day in Asheville with people from all walks of life.
You could even find yourself at a finish line as one of three lucky guys amongst 200 girls like I did at the 2011 Healthy Living Summit 5K. See if you can find me. It’s like a Where’s Waldo book. Ha.
Maybe you will see a marriage proposal. One of my best friends proposed to his future wife at the finish line of the ING Miami Marathon. He actually carried the ring with him all 26.2 miles. And of course she said yes! Everyone liked it so much it became an ad in Runners World below. What an amazing memory they will have for the rest of their lives. And I bet they made the race that much more special for everyone else at the finish line…
So lets see if we can unpack the real meaning of the finish line. Is it?
Run (1) + People (1) = Race (2)
Run (1) + People (1) = Race, Inspiration, Connection, Friendship, Acceptance, Love, Happiness and Encouragement (More than 2).
I guess it is all in your perspective. See you at the finish line!