Sunday, December 7, 2014

One for the Ages

From an athletic standpoint, Teal Burrell's 2:42:16 marathon, which notched a spot in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles, speaks for itself. Having run near Teal for 20 miles (and and two hours and four minutes) before she took off, I was most impressed by her amazing level of concentration and courage. The Olympic Trials Standard is cruely precise. The runner must go sub-2:43. A 2:43:01 doesn't cut it -- dropped water bottles, loose shoe laces, weather conditions make no difference. It is a very rare person who has the determination and strength of character to run mile-after-mile and step-after-step at almost exactly the required pace the whole while knowing that, with so much at stake, the whole race will come down to seconds. And those seconds will come into play when your mucles are seizing up and you have nothing left in the tank. This is especially true where that pace is over 20 seconds per mile faster than the runner's best marathon. It is rare to meet a person who can withstand that sort of pressure under those circumstances. Teal's performance today was a huge milestone for herself, her family, and her Club and I was honored to watch part of it. On this of all days we are reminded of how short life can be and Teal lived this day to the fullest.

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