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Marathon

I can't, late this Sunday night, not mention Paula Radcliffe. In her stopping running six or so hours ago I think I saw something quite profound. I think I saw a humbling lost-ness. When the Ethiopian runner (who incidentally had been cheered on by her husband as she ran..) passed her, and Radcliffe hit fourth place again it was almost like her spirit broke. To be faced with the thought of once agin not making the medals, once more feeling failure seemed to break her. And what we saw was a lost ness.. What do I do now? I am surrounded by people but all alone. I only have somewhere to go in this situation if I am running.. and if I stop then I am out of place here.

In the moment I believe it took more courage to stop.

The realisation that the race could not be won brought pain and hurt to Radcliffe but she stopped and faced that reality.. is there something for us in this? Will we realise that this mad wordlinesss of chase and greed cannot be won. Will we stop?

We face the prospect of feeling out of place. It will hurt. (An elderly Greek couple may try to console us!?) But we will have stopped running a race where no-one can win. We will sit on the pavement and begin to watch the real world, the world outside of the spray painted blue line of best fit. The cheering crowds will come into focus.. dare I suggest a cloud of witnesses, cheering us.. not in this race.. but one of far greater worth.

Will we stop? Do we have the courage to stop?



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