I was running with my brothers through Brooklyn in the middle of the street. You can get away with this when you’re in a marathon. I like to make new friends during races, and NY did not disappoint. We came up behind this grey-haired guy, surely in his early 70’s, wearing slightly-too-short running shorts and a pale green t-shirt with iron-on letters on the back which read “Running Marathons for 35 years!”
Come on. I couldn’t just let that one go. I left my brother’s side and pulled up next to the gentleman and shouted “Hey roadrunner… are you serious? 35 years?”
He smiled and said “Absolutely! I just love this race.”
I smiled back, “Wow, 35 marathons is quite an achievement.”
“35? Heck no, I’ve done 139 marathons! I still run 4 per year.”
I just stared at him in disbelief for a moment. I’ve completed 4 marathons in my life and each one was challenging in its own way. I have also been driven by a higher purpose in each one, helping me to finish in spite of injuries and setbacks. So I just had to find out what was burning in this guy’s soul. What was it that drove him to run so many endurance races throughout his life?
“So… why do you run so many marathons?”
He looked over at me without breaking stride, lifted his eyebrows enthusiastically and replied “Why not?!”
Yes, of course. Why not.