Monday 31 August 2015

What's so special about a marathon medal?

When you cross the finish line of a marathon, no matter how beat you are, you are proud of the achievement. Beaming and glowing and feeling like a champ.

I always wear my medal from that time on, for the rest of the day, and then wear it at work the next day, to let that feeling soak in and post the runner's high, get the medal's high.

It gets people who see you, smile; and perhaps ask you what you won. And that's when you can chat with a stranger and perhaps get them interested in running the next time themselves, or starting running, or whatever.

So yesterday, post crossing the finish line of the Marathon in Hyderabad,I wore the medal back to the hotel where I was greeted by the smiling receptionists who asked about the medal, the run, and whether I had won - to which I told them that everyone who crossed the finish line that morning, had won! They then wanted to have a photograph along with them. And their GM wanted to meet us, and the 2 of us got a free lunch that day - which even included some chilled draught beer as the kicker.

When I got to the airport, there was a long line at the Indigo counter and as I was making progress, one of the ground staff, saw the medals and heralded me out of turn to a check in counter. Three fellow runners behind me asked if they could also join since they had also run but were not wearing their medals. The Indigo staff obliged and asked them to get out their medals so that they could take a group photograph with all of us. Not only that, he was incredibly sweet to offer to and check in my hand baggage also!! Now that is a huge - random act of kindness. I in turn, post all the photographs, gave him a book I had written on Running and Life - strangely enough, entitled running and living. He had run a half marathon in Delhi a few years ago, and I asked him to be in touch.
I then chatted with the other three folks who were also traveling to Delhi. I met up with another runner from Indore who wanted to train for a half marathon and we chatted for a while before her flight was called.

These are some of the random and amazing things that happen when you wear your medal post a run, for the day and perhaps into work on Monday. So DO NOT put it in your pocket, never to be seen again immediately after you cross the finish line. You have earned your right to wear it, and make a few new friends for the day.