It has to be the most gorgeous athletic venue in the world, 26.2 miles of breathtaking scenery along the California coast between Big Sur and Carmel—a marathon course that’s beautiful and brutal.
People come from all over the world to participate. And for years I’ve watched them come across the finish line, one by one. All ages, all nationalities, an amazing assortment of humanity—every single one of them is inspiring.
Sometimes they soar across the finish as if they just ran 26 miles without breaking a sweat; others drag across the line and seem so un-athletic it’s hard to believe they can run around the block. Which makes sense from what I understand about marathons. It doesn’t take particular athletic ability or talent—-it takes hard work, and the motivation to train your body to endure running 26 miles.
V is a dedicated runner who’s run the marathon several times. The closest I”ve come has been dropping him off the night before to spend the night in Big Sur where the race starts. Over the years I’ve watched V and other friends as they complete the race. And I would wonder how it would feel crossing the finish line myself.
Sometimes when I go to Big Sur, I think about that— whether I have the discipline, determination and drive—not to drive but to run those 26 miles.
Today was the 2010 marathon— a picture perfect California day. I didn’t run; I didn’t even go to watch the runners finish the race.
But this year does mark a milestone: running a marathon officially made the move from my bucket list…to my F**k-it list. So I guess I finally know how it feels to reach the finish line.