That dastardly Point 2. Virtually the same in kilometers, 42.2 km or miles, 26.2 miles. I have al love/hate relationship with Point 2 in either kilometres or miles!
The inspiration for the Marathon goes back to the myth of the ancient Greek Messenger who ran from Marathon to Athens, a distance of around 40km or 25 miles with news of a great Greek military victory over the Persians. He was successful in his mission but promptly died. Hardly the inspiration for a modern test of running endurance.
The Marathon distance stood at 40 km/25 miles until the 1908 Olympics. Again as legend has it, the distance was extended to 40.2 km/26.2 miles at the request of Queen Alexandra. And who refuses the request of a Royal? No one back in the day. That distance stuck and today we have the 42.2 or 26.2 as the official Marathon distance.
But I’ve digressed. It’s the Point 2 that I remember most vividly.
At Reggae Marathon in 2009 I was well past my planned finish time. The sun was high overhead. I’d used up all my gels and had just passed Bob’s Mile.
What a boost that was: 25 miles covered…1.2 to go! Limping along by then with a sore hamstring in my right leg, I started to smile. I kept chanting the refrain from the volunteer at mile 26, ‘You can do this’. As I got closer to the finish line at Long Bay Beach Park…still in the same location by the way, I heard the music. Suddenly there it was…the Mile 26 marker. I was almost there. Point 2 to go!
I didn’t want it to end…I wanted it to end so badly! Love/Hate!
As I headed down the chute that day well after most of the crowds had gone, I was emotional. I’d done it…I was a Marathoner! That Finisher Medal felt so good as the smiling volunteer slipped it over my head. It was a heck of a race that day: Pre dawn start with the crowds, aid stations every mile along the route, running alone for most of the second half…lots of experiences along the way. These many years later I still remember the Point 2!
Until next time…
Reggae Marathon RunninGuy