Missoula Marathon Part Next:
Groovy Girls Go…………Inspiration
“Mama,” Montana’s questioning voice begins, “why are you crying?”
We’re walking back from having just had coffee and visiting with my family and friends after crossing the Missoula Marathon finish line.
After crossing the finish line I find myself bending over to catch my breathe, it’s then that I heard my family calling out my name. This was the first time in all my races my mother had been there. My brother and his partner were already there ready for hugs too as Mark had crossed the half finish a while ago. They, with Montana, were waving wildly trying to get my attention. I had, once again, run with everything I had and my soles were a bit more worn but better for having traveled these miles under the big sky.
The finish chute is always an exciting and touching place to journey through. It’s where everyone takes in the accomplishment and celebrates the journey. You’re showered with praise, food, support, and best of all hugs! In a world where people can be too busy too easily, everyone here is moving a bit slower and open to touch. Everything from people needing a shoulder to lean on while another person bends to clip off a timing chip. A celebratory embrace as they put the finisher’s medal around your neck. A pat on the back and some hydration or an out reached hand to share food.
I’ve had people help me hold a towel so I could change with some modesty. I’ve had strangers, with no judgement, reach for a bucket while I heaved. I’ve had help changing or cleaning up after runs with nothing but a smile and a willingness to lend a hand.
Still, nothing is better than a good hug, which is exactly what I got not only from my family and daughter that day, but I was blessed enough to be running with some really amazing life friends. It’s not always that you get to turn the corner, after running your best marathon time to date, have your family and daughter there to see it, and get a smile and a hug from a person that inspires you……..but today was clearly my lucky day!
And so, after all of our hugging, and coffee, and changing, and stories, and laughing, and…..and……and……my Montana Skye and I were walking back to the car. We came up the street where we could look over and see the final bridge of the Missoula Marathon route that led to the finish line. Nearly two hours after I crossed there were still people taking those final steps towards their own celebration party. Two more hours of Montana heat rising, chafing, running, gutting it out, self-talk, fighting demons that tell you to stop, fueling, and digging deep; they were on the verge of greatness and even greater hugs!
“I’m crying Montana because I’m so happy for those marathoners, I just can’t keep it in. Those people crossing right now are so brave! They’re probably some of the strongest people ever! They just don’t quit. Those runners are my inspiration.”
Groovy Girls Go……..Because Inspiration Can Often Be Seen Only At The End (and maybe that’s the next beginning)