Mark Miller ran his first marathon a couple of weeks ago up in Vermont. His take on the starting line is one of the best accounts of what it is like to stand on the line of ANY race:
"The starting line experience was one of the most beautiful and brilliant moments of my entire life. With a minute to go until the gun the press box started blasting the intro to Where the Streets Have No Name. As the Edge came in I looked down at my legs and realized that every square centimeter was completely covered in goose-bumps. I looked at my arms and every tiny hair was standing on end. The most incredible wave of emotion consumed my entire body. The realization that I was perched not only on the end of an incredible journey, but on the edge of soul wrenching experience that would have a profound effect on the rest of my life. That song will never be the same for me after this moment".
He also gave a great take on what I think is the ONLY way to pass someone in a race:
"As we turned into the park just before the nineteen mile mark I decided that I should not even acknowledge Trent as I passed him. I wanted the move to be like the old Seinfeld band-aid adage. Be a man, just rip it off!"
I also thought this captured exactly what kind of focus you need to cover the final miles in a marathon:
"I knew that the next thirty-minutes of my life were going to be incredibly difficult and test every dark recess of my inner strength".
And his feelings after the race:
"There is something so simple and beautiful about the feeling of being completely broken down to your most elemental level like this".
I was tired and pumped up at the same time after reading his account. I can hardly wait to toe the line again...
Read more of Mark's training and racing: http://evolutionofanathlete.blogspot.com/