Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
– The last lines from ‘Ulysses’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
I followed a number of runners from my running club running Boston this year. It is such a spirited event – made more so by the events of 2013. BAA.org had an app for my desktop that allowed me to monitor each one’s progress. Little “stick” icons representing each runner and their progress along the course. Some of the local runners chronicled their training up thru the race via blogs and Facebook. Each with a wonderful sense of anticipation allowing me a peek into the “mental”, as well as the physical side of their quest. Each one inspirational.
There are SO many “people” stories that surface from Boston (Marathoning and Running in general). I think it was Joan Benoit Samuelson who may have said that “…“For me, the most inspiring stories come at the back of the pack…….” and Bill Rodgers , while resting against a tree after a sub 2:15 asked the runner who sat down next to him, “How did you do”? – “Fine, finished in 4:30…” To which Bill Rodgers replied, “Gee I don’t think I could run that long…” (I hope I did not embellish these quotes too much, but the message they send has stayed with me for years.) These back of the pack, mid-pack personal journeys culminate on race day, but are cultivated and nurtured by each individual’s spirit far in advance of crossing the finish line.
I love this quoted section (above) from the last lines from ‘Ulysses’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Part of it may be engraved on the Boston Marathon Memorial in Copley Square. It was posted on the Boston Marathon Facebook page. I have since committed it to memory….