Today was refreshing
Today I volunteered for the 39th Annual Detroit Free Press Marathon. For those unfamiliar with the Detroit Free Press Marathon, you have to check it out! My two favorite races include the 26.2 Marathon and 13.1 International Half-Marathon which both include Canada on the race course. In 2014, I participated in the International Half-Marathon. Although challenging, I loved running over the Ambassador Bridge to Canada and back through the Detroit-Windsor tunnel. If I am being totally honest, the tunnel sounded like it would be the most exciting because how often can you say you ran a mile underwater? It actually ended up being the hardest part, but it was totally worth it to cross that finish line.
Today I saw beauty in humanity
My day began at the start line at 5:30 am. It was dark, but there was a certain electricity in the atmosphere. The race began at 6:58 am, and it took about forty minutes to get all the heats of eager runners out. An incredible group of volunteers transformed the start to the finish complete with medals, heat sheets, food, water, Gatorade and chocolate milk. Before I knew it, the first of the cyclists and runners were crossing the finish line.
This is where I saw inspiration. I saw people representing each of the following crossing the finish line: young and old, fast and slow, diverse ethnicities, different cultures, and multiple languages. I saw people cheering their hearts out for others they didn’t know, and celebrating the victory of others stepping over the finish line. Whether the runner was finishing the 13.1 miles or 26.2 miles, the accomplishment of completing the goal was something to celebrate together. If you don’t believe me, check out the Detroit Free Press highlights to see the power of people coming together.
I found the finish line to be refreshing. During a time where political debates, world dynamics, and local challenges dominate conversation and the news, I found 26,000 people coming together with a common goal to be powerful. While we may have differences from others, what if we focused on what we have in common and used that as a way to work through said challenges? What if we approached problems with the heart of a marathon rather than a sprint of accomplishing that one thing we feel is most important?