Saturday, July 4, 2009

It's Not Always About Winning...

I was able to watch the winners of the Peachtree Road Race early this morning as they zipped by our hotel on their way to the finish line.

These runners are fast. It took the winner of the men's race just over 27 minutes to finish, and the first female to cross the finish line, Lineth Chepkurui, ran the 6.2 mile (10K) race in 31:30, just one-tenth of a second ahead of the second-place finisher. To put that into perspective, they run twice as fast as I ever have... on a good day.

I didn't run the Peachtree Road Race this year. Instead my daughter and I were on the side of the road cheering for the runners who passed by us.

Including this guy....

who would be hard to spot if we didn't have our own system worked out. (After taking pictures at about 13 of his 20 Peachtree appearances, I'm getting pretty good at this!)

I did say "20" Peachtree appearances. Yep, since running in his first Peachtree Road Race in 1987, Craig has run the race 20 times. Besides counting t-shirts, we also use hands (anyone's will do) to keep track of the math. This year Tyler was our behind-the-scenes hands guy with Hannah looking on and giving encouragement!

Like I said yesterday, winning this race is not the point.

Unless you fly around the world entering races you probably won't be taking the medal and prize money home for this race. Instead, it's the experience that counts. Of standing at the starting line waiting on your turn to start running... of seeing historic buildings and churches along the route... of looking up at gleaming skyscrapers stretched toward a dazzling blue sky... of looking at the backs of thousands of runners as they begin the slow run up Cardiac Hill... of hearing uplifting cheers or music nearly every step of the way... of quickening your pace as you make that turn on 10th Street and begin the last half mile to the finish.

It's an Atlanta tradition dating back 40 years when only 110 runners showed up at the starting line. Today, 50,009 runners' footsteps pounded the pavement along Peachtree Street. Of those, only two walked away with the winning runners' top prize. Most of the others walked away with a cotton t-shirt and a winning feeling that only comes when you've accomplished something you've set out to do.

Cheers to everyone who began the race at the starting line and finished it next to Piedmont Park! You all won today!


McMGrad89 said...

How exciting!

I can't do 5K in an hour... okay maybe not that bad, but close.

Silver said...

It's all about the Spirit! i totally agree!

miruspeg said...

Wow Craig sure is dedicated and determined when it comes to the Peachtree Road Race. I salute him.

In Sydney each August we have a 14km City to Surf road race. Alot of my friends and family have run/walked in it. Not being a runner I have never participated. This timed race has now 70,000 people participating and raises over $1.25 million for charity each year.

I love the photos you have posted here.


Mummy McTavish said...

WOW, so what was Craig's time?

I think I'm out of breath just looking at these photos, I'd better go lay down.

Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom said...

How wonderful! I love road races, they are so much fun. I'm hoping to get back to running reasonably quickly after this baby is born...