Monday, 22 April 2013

Journey to the West

I can hardly call myself a morning person, let alone am I an early riser. I could attribute this to being a very light sleeper and something of an insomniac but due to my defiance to being labelled anything other than Monsieur Columbus' sidekick or the very least, Shakespeare's apprentice, I will rest my case at "I have trouble waking up in the morning"
So as one can imagine, waking up at 2am on Saturday 20 April was no exception. I wasn't whistling a tune, neither was I fully aware of what I was doing up at such an ungodly hour. However, a shower always does the trick and in no time, I was trying to force some left over baguette with peanut butter down my throat. With my digestive system slightly in shock, I continued the motions of getting ready for another momentous occasion. 
Every race I have run has had some significance, great or small but this year's Weskus Marathon came with a lot more. Not only did it come a few days after the Boston Marathon bombings but it was a reminder of the reason I run. Pleased that I wouldn't have to drive, I found myself the passenger of probably the best running club shuttle ever. The Afrikaans chatter that went on around me, reminded me of the television show I watched as a child growing up, "Journey to the west". Though the show had English subtitles, one cannot help but marvel at how language can be a key or barrier to communication. Sitting there listening to Afrikaans folk chatter away, was like trying to decipher Morse Code amidst blazing guns and exploding grenades for a novice ear. Once in a while I caught a phrase or two but for the most part, I was lost in translation so I resolved to take a snooze.
The race in itself needed no interpretation, a straight forward route that took you to the finish. A moment of silence held for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings and we were all set to go. We had to run our hearts out for those who could not run for themselves. The sights around us, dreams that others would have loved to see for life has placed upon them one permanent restriction or another. Pondering upon these thoughts, the desire to press on despite the pain and weariness, was awakened. Undulating through the West-coast National Park, the route had its way, taking both seasoned runner and novice to the same destination - home.

3 hours and 48 minutes later, elation - a personal victory. A victory for those who inspire me daily. Those long gone and those recently lost. The fallen comrades some who remain unsung. The dreams that were meant to be lived but were cut short. I breathe deeply once again, as I sit and listen to Afrikaans chatter on the way back. I am sure I recognised a familiar word "hard-loop" or something along those lines. concluding my journey to the west. 

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