There’s nothing quite like the experience of bursting into tears of utter elation upon crossing the finish line of your very first marathon. The intense wave of emotions which cascades over you provides an intoxicating blend of pain, pleasure, relief and satisfaction. The months of early mornings, long runs, and anxious anticipation has finally brought you to this very moment. You’ve done what you set out to do, you pushed through pain and doubt, and you finished your race.
A first marathon is truly memorable, as it will stand out in your mind for years to come as a moment in your life which represents an outstanding accomplishment. And as time passes, the memory of the physical pain and emotional struggle may fade, but the final moments, with finish line in sight, goose bumps covering your skin, and a gleam in your eye, you will always hold dear.
I was fortunate enough to experience my first marathon with three very good friends. We began the day nervously optimistic, and progressed forward mile by mile, sharing laughs, making memories, supporting each other when the going got tough, and ending the day in a weary, yet joy-filled embrace as we basked in the glow of our accomplishment. It was truly amazing.
The experience of twenty-six point two is like none other, one I hope to have again, perhaps many times if I’m able. For those of you who have achieved this accomplishment, congratulations! You should be very proud of your courage, your strength, and your commitment to finishing. For those of you considering your first marathon, do it! It won’t be easy, but it’s not supposed to be. This is a distance meant to show you what you’re really made of, both physically and mentally.
And when you cross that finish line, soak in that glorious, amazing, epic moment, it’s one you’ll never forget.