The Running Community... the special ethos
There are some people who simply understand the ethos of running, the running community as you might call it. I've often spoken of Phoenix Running in this category and there is no doubt that Centurion Running absolutely share this ethos.
Although there are prizes awarded, these are organisations who place your race as the most important thing on their agenda. These are events where the 7 or 8 hour marathon runner is lauded as the equal of the sub-3 hour runner.
In the case of Phoenix timed events, as long as you complete 5km, you get the same medal as someone who completes 50km. This was the case for the One Community where people could compete in a range of events from a virtual 5km through to running 100 miles in the week between 25 and 31 May.
In running, unless you are an Olympian (and even then), all you can ever be is your very best. The joy comes from challenging your own limits, it comes from being outside enjoying the world around you and staying fit mentally and physically.
For some, their utopia is a fast marathon, for others completing a single lap of a running track represents an equal achievement.
In my thirty-six marathons, I've never once had an interest in beating anyone or anything other than my own personal goals. Moreover, the greatest joy I get is from seeing people achieve things which they never thought possible.
This is what fuels the running community; we come in all sizes, colours, ages and shapes. We have a vastly diverse range of natural ability, we all have different demands on our life which shape how often we can run. In other words, the only race we have is simply to get outside, to be, to compete with the voice inside saying that we can't or shouldn't.
It always fills me with pride to be part of a community which constantly supports and encourages those around them, where we're all on the same journey but seeing it through vastly different eyes.
Running with perseverance
When I think of the name of this website, it refers to a bible verse in which the apostle, Paul, encourages to run the race set out before us, fixing our eyes on the prize of Jesus Christ. I'd like to think he is telling us that we will all have different races, but we run our race and we focus on my ultimate prize of Christ, and not on the races that others may be running. He also states in Romans 12 that we all have different gifts which we are to use to the best of our ability.
It's all about me (in a good way)
What does this mean in the context of running. Simple in my eyes; some have the gift of running quick, some the gift of running far; some may have both and for others the running of the bath has them out of breath. But for all, the goal is to be the best they can be, not comparing themselves, but focusing on their own finish line.
It's a time when it's possible to say that 'it's all about me', about being my best. But it's also about enjoying the achievements of others.
Where running is so special, is that so many runners live by and understand that message and are so supportive of each other. This has certainly been very true during the One Community this week and absolute respect is due to Centurion for really driving this mindset and making it such a fun virtual running event at a time where we all need something to smile about.
The final figures...
So for me, I completed my 100 mile week over the course of 11 runs which aggregated over 13 hours and 16 minutes of running.
For race purposes, I started my first run at 8:21am on Monday morning and finished my last at 8:17am on Sunday morning, meaning a race time of 5 days 23 hours and 56 minutes.
There are a few virtual events ongoing to keep me busy at the moment.
I'm currently 316 miles across Tennessee!! According to the map, I wasn't far from the Jack Daniels distillery this week... shame I missed it! I've another 305 miles left to the finish line in this one so would hope to be there in early July.
Tomorrow, I will be setting out from Lands End to John o'Groats on a virtual challenge to run 874 miles between 1 June and 1 December.
And on 20 / 21 June, every hour on the hour (for 24 hours between 8am on Saturday and 7am on Sunday), I will run one mile as part of the Phoenix P24 challenge.
It's a great way to stay fit and also a terrific way to remain connected with the running community.
Running has been a gift for me in lockdown and one for which I am truly grateful. For every runner, their journey holds a different meaning and significance and it is a privilege to see so many people flourish on those journeys and achieve so many things beyond their wildest expectations.
I was meant to be running 20 marathons in 2020 for four amazing charities. Due to the pandemic, this will now be #21in2021. However, these charities really need your support now to continue their life changing work. You can read more here and donate by pressing the button below. As always, thank you.