No matter what kind of runner you are – trail, road, track, jogger, Parkrunner – when you watched Eliud’s incredible run on that Saturday morning, you felt it. The anticipation, the nerves, the pain, the glory!
I hung on to every word he uttered. It was magnetic. That sense of determination, the positivity and the conviction that it was possible. #NoHumanIsLimited…I wanted more!
Sport unites people. And in my bond with running, I’ve learnt over the years that runners are united by common experiences and emotions. You don’t have to be Eliud Kipchoge, Ann Ashworth or even Ryan Sandes to experience the same fears, ups and downs and personal victories as they do.
In the many pre and post record-breaking run interviews with Eliud, there were three times where I caught myself nodding my head and thinking, “Yes, me too!”
1. The nerves.
According to Eliud, the hardest hours in his life were between 5 o’clock and and 08h15 waiting to run. For me, this is the hardest part of running. Waiting for the race to get going. Waking up in the dark after a sleepless night, the chilly morning, the queues at the loos, the countdown to when that gun goes off. Longest hours ever!
It’s mentally shattering. I don’t know about you, but my stomach goes into overdrive and I get “running coughs” which sound like I need to vomit. I am yet to fine tune my body’s ability to control my nerves. Eliud must’ve been a bag of them!
2. It’s taught me patience
One of the Google questions posed to Eliud was “what has he learnt about running?” His answer was being patient. Yes, me too.
Improvement comes with consistency and discipline. But with these two is also patience. It doesn’t come immediately. In fact, I’ve seen that it has taken a few years to get to the runner I am today. And I’m not only talking about the physical results, but more mentally.
3. What do you love most about running?
What would your answer be?
When Eliud said, “It can make your mind think properly” it nailed it for me. When you’re out on the road, especially running your long run allowing your head to wander, you think about the big and small issues in your life.
You have the debates, you ask the questions and often, by the end if the run, you have your answers. Having conversations with yourself out on the road is one of the most rewarding gifts as a runner.
Running unites. But runners unite.
I found this quote which sums it up for me: “In a world separated by distance, time, language barriers, financial hardships, family obligations, and political views — I find we are more alike than we know as I run down the road. We are all out on our journey to whom we want to become; we find we are all moving forward, at our own pace, on a path called life, together.”
Ps: Was it just me or did it look like everyone was trying to get a PB on their Sunday morning long runs on Strava? LOL
Thank you Eliud Kipchoge.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Lisi Niesner