here we are.
24 hours to go.
all the remaining runners are in the home stretch.
we still have a little time before the next one arrives at the finish,
but after that they should be coming in the rest of the day.
after all of us got a pretty good sleep break last night,
the mood around the rock is good.
it isnt like we are back to normal,
but you dont see anyone facedown on a table asleep today.
(not to say we wont sleep for a whole day once this is over)
for the runners out on the course,
the finish is tantalizingly close.
but all the remaining miles must be done the same way as all the others.
one step at a time.
this is a time for reflection.
a time to be alone with their thoughts
a time to absorb the magnitude of what they have just done
(or nearly done)
for a lot of people
they will never be quite the same again.
when they were signing on and planning the event
there was no real comprehension of just what they were taking on.
300 miles sounds like a lot to the uninitiated.
but it does not sound like as much as it is
when you are doing it one painful step at a time.
during the race they were made painfully aware
of just how impossibly far they were running.
so aware that doubt was inevitable.
all around them other runners succumbed to the doubt.
they were charging up san juan hill,
and all around them holes were appearing in the line.
and they were sure they would be next.
but they did the one thing it takes to finish.
they did not quit now.
many of them came to the brink.
all the way to the point of having phone in hand
preparing to make the call.
but something stayed their hand.
a reserve they did not know was there
a bit of steel that had never been called on before
gave them the strength to put the phone away
and go on.
it might be hopeless.
they might be miserable
but they did not quit now.
here in the homestretch
it is still painful
but there is more than hope
there is (for the first time since the early days) certainty.
this is a time to reflect about all the things they have seen.
and all the things they have learned.
about the unsuspected strength they have found in themselves.
and the unexpected kindness of strangers.
about this journey
that for days they have only wanted to see end
and now, with the end in sight
this inexplicable yearning to have it go on.
this was only 10 days out of their lives,
but it was a lifetime in itself.
the person who arrives at the rock is not the one who left on a bus.
being reduced to the most elemental level
they have built themselves back greater than they were before.
this is a good time to be alone with their thoughts.
their great spirit journey is coming to an end.