One Badass Woman… Wait, Make That Forty-Three
Today was Marathon Monday. The Boston Marathon… Hubby called the action for radio today, from a rather precarious- looking scaffolding perch for the media, above the finish line. I had clinic, but followed along online.
The Boston is steeped in story lines. There’s just SO much. The bombing, the memorials, the survivors. Elites from lands foreign in many ways, who overcame unimaginable obstacles to be here. The super- tight security and K-9 units and unbelievable logistics of herding 40,000 athletes 26.2 miles into the center of the city. The extremely difficult course, the unusually warm weather, the military guys who ran it in fatigues and boots…
But one story in particular caught my attention. Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially complete the race in 1967, returned to run. She finished, in 4:44. And she’s seventy!
Back then, they had tried to rip off her bib and pull her off the course. Today, she was heralded as the hero she is. It was really too warm today for distance running, and plenty of runners fell or dropped out, suffering from heat exhaustion. But she crossed the finish rather gracefully:
That’s amazing, but guess what? She was eighth in her age group. There were forty- three women age seventy and older running today, and seven of them ran faster than Switzer.
Now, it was once a realistic goal of mine to qualify for and run the Boston. Alas, my last marathon was in 2001, and my best time was 4:06. So, I’ve long since given that one up.
But seeing her deserved finish, and looking fresh as a daisy to boot, I was inspired.
Maybe, just maybe, my best running years aren’t behind me, but rather, stretching ahead.