THE RACE OF A LIFETIME (WEEK 31)

There is an adage that says the expanse of the heavens is wide enough for birds to fly (I love how it sounds in my mother tongue, Yoruba!). In other words, there is space for everyone who wants to run their race.

During my last race, the half marathon, I saw all manners of people – literally. There were close to 6,000 people who showed up for the race. Big, small, black, white, young, old; the race did not discriminate on who can participate. There was room for all.

Beside me on the start line was an older man, perhaps in his sixties. It was his first half marathon. I told him it was my first as well. He wished me good luck and I wished him the same.

A few minutes after the start, I saw an unexpected sight: a dog running with a race number on its back! Was that the owner’s number? Did it have its own number? There was no time for me to verify. I am used to dogs running 5k Parkrun races alongside their owners, but a dog with a race number! I was glad it was not barking as I ran past!

At least one person pushed his child in a pushchair, another sight I was used to from Parkrun. Talk about endurance for the pusher and enjoyment for the pushed!

There was someone “running” in a wheelchair. I met two people, in fact. They seemed to whiz pass when there was a downward slope, but needed a lot of effort to wheel uphill. Such is life; it is never only downhill or only uphill!

I saw another runner; a kind I had not witnessed before. At the back of her yellow jacket were the words “Blind runner”. A guide ran beside her, with a short strap on the wrists of both runners. I was touched. No one has an excuse not to run their race, I thought, as I passed this unique running team.

Surely, there is space for everyone to pursue their purpose in life. Bin the excuses, take your place at the starting line and be the runner you were created to be!

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