I wish all the world was runners; the world might be a better place. There is a special bond that runners seem to have with each other—and the world around them. I am generally impressed by how willing and forthcoming other runners are to help their fellow runners. I reflect on the video of track runner that helped her fellow competitor cross the finish line at an Ohio high school track meet. I think of all the runners who have encouraged me during a race when every muscle in my legs are screaming for me to stop. But more importantly, I am impressed by how runners support and care for the world around us.
I think of the runners who still went to Joplin, MO in 2011 to help that town clean up after a tornado forced the cancellation of a half-marathon scheduled to be run there. Last year, after the cancellation of the New York City Marathon, many runners still went to New York to support the clean-up effort after Hurricane Sandy. Runners donated their time and their effort to support those who were facing a more difficult time than their own. And even after the events of the Boston Marathon yesterday, many runners finished the race. Then kept running past the finish line and headed straight to the hospital. Not because they were injured, but to donate blood!
If everyone were a runner, and could show the same compassion, dedication, and friendliness that runners show to one another, maybe there would be fewer selfish acts. Maybe people would find a way to talk to each other, to care for each other, to love each other. There is no greater joy when I see my fellow runners celebrating with each other, oftentimes people they have just met, at the finish line of a race. Runners who have picked up runners who were struggling to finish a race and helped them reach the finish line.
If all the world were runners…..