THE RACE OF A LIFETIME (WEEK 29)

I crossed the line! I finished a half-mara today! However, the day got off to a potentially bad start. Read all about it.

The night before, I attended a friend’s book launch in Chatham, which meant returning home a little late and having less time to sleep. Ideally, I would have wanted to rest all day, but I could not miss Olivia’s book release.

I woke up early – too early – and stayed in bed for a little while. As the good, religious person that I am, I prayed in the Spirit and read a scripture. Isaiah 40:28-31 was an appropriate Scripture for the day. Armed with the promise to “run and not be weary” I got ready, had some toast, kissed my Mrs. and set off. I had actually left only two hours to get to the venue, which was okay, but this was a Sunday, when public transport was not as regular.

The 130 Bus got to the Tram Stop. As I stepped out of the bus, the Tram started to move. “C’mon driver!” I ran back to the 130 bus and the bus driver helped me catch the Tram at the next stop. Phew! That saved me 15 minutes. The rest of the journey was as expected.

As I arrived, there was a brass band playing. I used my phone to record a few seconds and sent the clip to my people at home. “I am here!” I dropped my bag and headed for the toilet. The queues! There were hundreds of runners needing the toilet before the race, which was about 10 minutes starting. It was at this point I realised I did not have my phone! Where is my phone? I ran back to where I dropped my bag, but it was not in the bag or in my jacket. I must have dropped it!

I was disoriented for a few moments, but realised there was nothing I could do about it. Hopefully, someone would have picked it up and handed it in. It just meant I would not be able to track my run with strava (sorry Nigel)! Forget about the phone and concentrate on the race, I told myself. Don’t let the setback keep you back.

I got in line, in the midst of almost 6,000 runners, and off we went. There were runners everywhere you turn, winding around the Olympic park. Mile 2. Mile 7. Mile 10. Mile 11 (lots of detail on another day). When I passed the 12th Mile marker, I told myself, “One more mile!” But that final mile felt like 10! Where is the finish line? The I saw it. Actually, I heard the live music first and then saw the final 200m mark. From nowhere, I found strength to sprint to the finish. I crossed the finish line, received my medal and goodie bag!

I walked like a penguin to the lost-and-found area, and yes, someone had handed in my phone.

Some lessons from today’s race:

Rest well.

Rise up early.

Pray always.

Get some runner gadgets (I need a phone holder for my next race!)

Do not let a setback keep you from your race.

Even if you start badly, keep going and cross that finish line!

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