Monday, April 03, 2006

Wearing pain like a badge of pride

Re: ‘Bay race shines; Record 6,800 runners, walkers bask in winning conditions’ (March 27)

Something incredible happened in Hamilton last weekend. Almost 7,000 people accomplished the ‘impossible’. They ran or walked 30 kilometres in the Hamilton Around the Bay Race.

How many people do you know who can walk or run 30 kilometres? This race included everyday people doing the impossible.

When was the last time you watched the Olympic Games on TV and marvelled at the skill and fortitude of the athletes? Did you think ‘I wish I could do that’?

It is amazing that this is the 112th year that Hamilton has hosted this race that’s older than the Boston Marathon. The next Boston Marathon will be on April 17, 2006, and is the 110th running of that race. The Boston race is two years younger than Hamilton’s event.

That the oldest race in North America is in Hamilton is really quite remarkable – and possibly not well known outside of Hamilton. (A marketing challenge for Hamilton)

Most of those who complete this event are unrecognized athletes who push themselves to do the very limits of their abilities. After the race some go back to work. Their families and close friends might congratulate them on their accomplishment. Perhaps their co-workers notice their painful hobbling the next day and ask what caused it.

Everyone who participated accomplished something wonderful. In the pain of my own recovery I rejoice and raise a glass to you. And I look forward to the pain of next year.

George Torok
(Recovering runner)

Around the Bay Race

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