Wednesday, October 26, 2011

# 43 with strings attached !

ashton kutcher preferred no strings attached in the romantic comedy film. this string certainly has attachments.

whether it is the full distance or the half or the 5k, the turnaround point is to a runner as the halftime is to some team sports player.  well, with a number of variances. while the halftime is the break between two halves of a basketball or football game, the turning point may or may not be equidistant to the start and finish lines. there is only one halftime in a game; there may be more than one turnaround point in a race.  the turnaround takes but a quick second or two; the halftime has the luxury of more minutes. the purpose is the same, though - to allow runners or players to take a deep breath, size up the situation, regroup or adjust strategies if needed.  now or never moment. 

marshals man the turnaround point lest runners miss the turn or hot-headed drivers, unmindful of an on-going race, claim ownership of the road.  

the timing chip is yet to be used in regular weekend races.  for now, it is reserved for major races.  in the absence of technology to measure time and distance covered, a string is handed out to a runner who makes it to a turnaround point. 

runners slow down when they make the turn as they wait for the string to be handed out.  this is quite a distraction for serious runners. one has to have quick hands or run the risk of a few seconds delay.

nothing fancy, just a regular string in the eyes of many. the person giving out the string would most likely say 'go for it, you're almost there!'  never mind if 'almost' means six miles or even thirteen miles away.  to a runner,  the string serves a purpose. attached to that string is a sense of fulfillment, a triumph of willpower over body.  at the turnaround point, weary feet forge ahead.  the finish line looms a few miles less away. confidence replaces doubt.  a power kick sparks the wavering spirit.

yes, almost there, indeed!   isn't that awesome?


  1. Oh yes, I remember those strings although when I got them I had no idea what they were for and had stuck them in the pocket of my shorts. See, I ran a half marathon in Cebu, now that my friends was an ITA moment for me. During the race a nice young man ran along side me most of the way. We tried to converse, him in his broken English and me in my just developing Cebuano. So, it is safe to say we didn't have much to say to one another :). But, he was able to convey to me the importance of the string. Yes, the blue and pink strings that I received hang on my wall, framed with my bib and a picture taken at the finish line by Nanna-now that to me will always be an ITA moment for me!