In one week I’ll be participating in my first marathon, and I’m planning on winning the race.
That’s right, winning the whole thing.
Make no mistake (barring some kind of freak Rookie-of-the-Year-style “injury”) there’s no chance of me crossing the finish line first. Not going to happen. Finishing will be accomplishment enough. But when it comes to running, as with most of life’s endeavours, “winning” can have many definitions.
Kilian Jornet has crossed the finish line first in countless ultra-marathon races around the globe, but this is what he has to say about real winning:
An ultra is not a competition. It is much more. When you finish a race having won it, it’s happens many times that you’re not satisfied. You’re happy, but that’s it. The next day you see people arriving at the square and you see they are crying with joy and happiness. Then you think, Look at them, man, they really won.
(Note, when he says “the next day you see people arriving…” you know both how long these ultras are, and how fast Kilian runs them!)
This advice, reminiscent of Scott Jurek’s, reminds us of the importance of not only running as fast as you can, but enjoying the experience.
On race day, I’ll be watching my pace and giving my whole effort to running, but I also hope to enjoy the day and the race experience with fellow runners and supporters. Hopefully at the finish line I’ll all be able to say I “really won”. And if you have a race or endeavour coming up, you “really win” as well!