I got so many sincere congratulations this weekend. People actually walked over to me on purpose and congratulated me. It was mostly heartfelt and well meant.
There was no medal this time. No 'naked' running. No 26.2 or more or less miles. No diploma. No certificate. No personal achievement of any kind.
Belgium had won a game at the European Championships Football playing Ireland on Saturday afternoon and because I'm a Belgian living in Ireland many Irish people send these congratulatory messages to me.
Two things struck me. 1- Irish people are big-hearted people and magnanimous in defeat. 2- I wasn't on that pitch. All I had was an association through nationality with people I have never met and who don't know me.
Personally the notion that in this particular case one country had to be losers for the others to be winners is counterintuitive to what I do and to the way I think. Overall in this competition EVERYBODY will have to be losers except for 1 country. That is something that doesn't sit with me anymore. It used to. But somehow I 'awarenessed' my way past that.
So sincere thanks for the congrats and yes I did watch the game. Yet I somehow felt uncomfortable others had to lose for me to get those congrats.
Now for something completely different but related. This coming Saturday I'm going long distance again. It's time for my longest run ever!! 40 miles to be exact. It's time for the Run the Kingdom 40 Mile Ultra run in Tralee. http://runthekingdom.ie/events-calendar/june-2016-40-mile-ultra-marathon/
This consists of 10 laps of 4 miles with 2 hills per lap. (That's 20 frickin' hills) :) There is a limit of 100 runners and it's Sold Out so I'm delighted to be part of that group. I also know there will be a fairly large group of runners from Marathon Club Ireland and Born To Run Tralee so I'm going to be in the company of dear friends. We have a race briefing at 7pm on Friday and start Saturday at 7am. I expect it to take 7.5 hours yet you never know in runs of that length. If you are around Tralee here's the route to come and give us some support! http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/fullscreen/933157101/
The fact I will know so many of the runners makes the run less daunting and more something I'm anticipating with giddy nerves. What's also great is the sense that come 4 or 5pm there will hopefully 100 winners and no losers.
People who run 40 miles can only be winners in my eyes. And that is the beauty of running long distance amateur style. The idea that we are all winners. That we all achieved something out of the ordinary. That we lived an adventure. That we are alive. That we do what we love to the best of our ability.
That we just be ourselves.
There will be a Race Report next Monday! Have a fabulous full of Miles with Smiles!!