Moscow, Russia

  • Date
  • 29 August 1999

I awoke early, still undecided on whether I would run the Moscow Marathon 10k race. Jim encouraged me, but I couldn’t decide. He had wanted to run the marathon, but with only one day notice, he cold not obtain a medical certificate required to run the full race, so he planned to run the 10k race instead. At breakfast, I made my mind to do the race, my first one, and give it my all.

And, I did it! At the finish line, I threw my hands up in glee, just as though I’d won a gold medal! There was never a moment when I thought about quitting, since I just knew I must complete the run. I was shocked at three points in the race to witness runners taking shortcuts, and at one point, even avoiding a stretch around a building, bypassing perhaps as much as half a kilometer of the race. Why run the race and cheat? Does the finish time mean that much? Even if the time is impressive, then don’t they think about the fact that they cheated to get that time? Perhaps the one’s cheating had a different goal than mine: to run the race successfully and finish on solid footing, which I did with pride.