I joined a quarter marathon yesterday. About 10 minutes into the race. I decided to make an experiment. Instead to focusing on how to run and pace my race, I ran along the side of the road where a lot of people were cheering. As they cheered I smiled back. When they offered their hands, I gave them a High-5!
I don’t believe the whole 10km had strings of people watching. So for the whole hour or so, I was running with a smile on my face.
I thought it would actually slow me down. When I saw a special child waving on the side, I took the extra effort to wave and smile until I was far ahead. I waved to an old lady in a wheel chair…she looked at me as if saying, “do I know her?” LOL. There was like a 500meter stretch of grade school students in uniform who all seemed to enjoy getting high-5’s from the runners. I spent some time there.
To my amazement, I finished the race at the same pace as my regular trainings. But I wasn’t as tired. Well, my right foot was hurting, but I only realized it after the race.
I realized that when they cheer for me, I get more energy. And also, as I smile back, they also get more energy to keep on cheering for the up coming runners. And boy, their job was just as hard as mine. They had to stand and cheer for hours and hours for all the runners. It was such a big event (Kobe Marathon, in Japan) 17,000 participants. That’s a lot of cheering.
They say the way you do your sport is the way you live your life. I used to always look ahead of my long-distance race and worry when the finish line would get here. A tiring way to go. Now, I’ve found a new way of running and I’m enjoying it! Live the moment and smile at every little blessing you get.