I was deep in my thoughts at 17th kilometer of the full marathon in Taipei. Runners were crossing the bridge. I was looking at the vastness of the structure. I was thinking about the next kilometer to cover and then someone bumped me. It was Kuya Marc Castrodes. We had a small chat and then he continued to stride.
He was a little bit farther from me. I uttered a prayer that we will all finish the marathon – injury-free. He told me that he and Ate Trec (his wife) have a different strategy to finish the race and that he is not sure where Ate Trec is already.
The craziest thing about this marathon is that it has several cut-off points. If you miss the cut-off time at certain distances, it will be the end of your run. Kuya Marc and I crossed each path when he passed through the 31st kilometer already and I was at the 29th kilometer. At 30.8th kilometer, you should be able to pass through the checkpoint by 10:22 AM. I made it through the cut-off time. Midway after the cutoff point, Ate Trec shouted at me if the cutoff point was close already. I happily replied, “Yes! Lapit na!”
I knew that Ate Trec will make it through that cut-off point. Focusing on the next kilometer, I saw Kuya Marc at the water station. He asked if I saw Ate Trec and if she was well. Kuya Marc was worried that Ate Trec was exhausted already.
Kuya told me to finish strong and continue the race while he will wait for Ate Trec so that they can finish together.
When you are running a full marathon, you think about so many things to keep your head busy. So that your mind will not entertain the idea of not finishing it.
At this moment, I could only think about how nice it is that Kuya Marc and Ate Trec are finishing the race together. How amazing it is that Kuya Marc will have to wait for Ate Trec even if it means losing time and probably doing a new personal record.
It made me think about Richt, about our marriage. She was waiting at the finish line. I thought that if it was me or her, we are both competitive, no one will wait and risk the chance of finishing it on time at the cut-off.
This for me was the most important lesson I learned during this marathon. That marriage is a race that couples should both be running together. That in this race, when the other is weary, the other one should be there to encourage and support.
Our devotion last night was focused on this verse, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” –1 Corinthians 9:24
I will end this with the devotion’s final statement:
There will be plenty of time to celebrate after we cross the finish line. For now, we just keep running.