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  • Shihan Kendall

One Foot, Then Another


“Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don’t have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up.” – Amby Burfoot

Patriots Day found me once again on the top of Heartbreak Hill, helping cover the Boston Marathon for WBZ. The weather for the 122nd Marathon was absolutely miserable – colder, wetter and windier than anyone could remember. Everyone was soaked to the bone and chilled to the marrow, and it was a heroic feat of body, mind and spirit just to finish.

But enough about me. Those runners were absolutely amazing!

Hours after finish-line tapes had been broken by each divisional winner, after the anthems had been played and the cash prizes collected, thousands of people kept cresting that hill in their run to the finish line. And while they did not have the same pace and speed of the “elite” runners, they had every bit the grit and determination. And for my money, the earned themselves every bit as much pride and glory. Maybe even more so.

I’d say it’s easier to push on through the pain and the doubt when you’re alone at the front, and the cameras are on you and there are prizes worth tens of thousands of dollars on the line. Most of us don’t have that. Indeed, as Amy Burfoot observes, most days don’t even have races. But they do have Heartbreak Hills, and headwinds, and finish lines that can feel impossibly far away. And they have hostos of winners: warriors who keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter the challenge, and who never, ever, ever give up.


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