Marathon

I watched a great friend complete the Philadelphia Marathon today at 11:58:08 (I think). Althought I’ve been here in New York for many years, I’ve never actually thought of attending a marathon (let alone participate in one).
But watching my pal complete the 26.2 mile course around the entire city was not only a milestone for him, but one for me. I saw not only the spirit of pure individualistic athleticism but the mysterious advances of almost perpetual motion on the human form. I witnessed a woman weeping as she crossed the finish line. I watched a man in a wheelchair fly across the finish, arm muscles bulging brightly. I saw two retired-looking women cascade through the gates together, almost holding hands. I felt the pain of one woman who walked through the finish line after stopping every 5 seconds to look at her evidently badly hurting foot. I saw one man do push-ups on the pavement only six yards from the finish as the crowd gushed. And I saw sheer glory in the smiling faces of people cheering others’ accomplishments, on the largest scale in the smallest form.

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