Sunday, April 13, 2008

London Marathon

I'm always amazed by people who run the marathon. I have a bunch of friends that have already done it, and I've watched it more than a few times.

One of the few fortunate things with living in east London is that mile 21 passes right in front of where I live. In fact, a 10 minute walk takes you to mile 13 as well. As I did last year, I watched it again this year.

I watched it by myself this year, looking out for an former colleague, who in fact, I haven't seen in a few years.

All I knew was that he was running the marathon through his facebook and sent out info, ironically, when he was going to pass through mile 21, just outside my door. How could I not step out to cheer him on?

As with most marathon runners in London, he was raising money for charity, the World Wildlife Federation. What's unique about the London marathon is that it has "an unusual feature of raising very large amounts of money for charity, much more than other marathons." (Wikipedia)

Its always fun trying to look for that person you're cheering on. I remembered how he looked like, but who knew if I'd actually catch him run by.

I kept an eye out for him, but also cheered on random people I'd never seen before, nor probably ever see again. I love how people have their names on their shirts. It gives you more reason to cheer them on, addressing them directly! I also love the costumes people wear!

Fortunately, I did see him. Luckily he wasn't surrounded by a mob of runners and I spotted him straight away, called out his name, and cheered him on. He looked at me at a daze, trying to recognize me, and gave me a thumbs up!

Who knows if he actually recognized me, but it didn't matter. For some odd reason I was overwhelmed with this excitement, perhaps from the fact that I actually saw him and cheered him on. It was the strangest feeling. After I saw him, I didn't know what to do. I had this big smile on my face. I almost considered running after him to cheer him on some more. But who do I cheer for next? I didn't know anyone else to look out for?

Then I realised that it didn't matter if I didn't know anyone else to cheer on. I think just cheering on runners randomly was a great help to them.

Congratulations to all the runners in this year's London marathon!

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