Running the race with perseverance

When I was in high school, there were three very fast long-distance runners. Twin sisters came from Prairie View, and the third runner came from Osawatomie. It was the last race of the league meet. The three champions were there. You’re thinking this story about them, right? Nope! The three girls lapped everyone in the field at least twice. The runner from Osawatomie could hear the twins coming up behind her as she started the last lap. She did NOT get lapped. Now, after the three champions finished the race, other runners began to finish their races. Nearly everyone was finished when one runner began another lap. She ran alone. As she neared the finish line, everyone assumed she was done, but no. She continued to make one more solitary lap. Thinking the meet was over, the guys in the press box had turned off the stadium lights on the far side of the track. She ran on alone and in the dark. When she came to the final straight away, people noticed she was still running. A wave of excitement swept over the crowd. We all began to cheer for this lonely, unknown runner who was committed to finish her race. She would not medal. Her point would not even count in the final standings. Yet, she had committed to herself, her coach and her team that she would finish the race. The standing ovation this anonymous young runner received was more thunderous than for the girls who eventually won the state championship. It would have been so easy to quit. This young woman finished her race with a quiet dignity and a perseverance that inspires me thirty years later. Paul says, “let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Sounds like she did!

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