Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Here's to the Winners: I spent the weekend in DC scurrying about the city with HRH Miss Anna trying to keep up with Miss Kate (Anna's mom) and Aunt Molly (Anna's aunt) who were also scurrying about the city, but with a purpose. They were competing with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training in the Marine Corps Marathon.

There is a point in running a marathon where it ceases to be an athletic challenge. It becomes a question of enduring the pain from the constant impact on the feet, the stress on the joints, the searing blisters. Of the estimated 18,000 runners who started the 26.2 mile race a little less than 16,000 finished, among them Kate and Molly, both of whom had the fortitude for a sprint to the finish.

Their race was rife with symbolism -- the impetus for undertaking the marathon to begin with was a show of support for their brother Brian, a marathoner and Lymphoma survivor, and the finish line was in Arlington cemetery under the memorial to the Marines who fought on Iwo Jima, one of whom was Anna's grandfather. The marathoners voluntarily accepted the pain and struggle of the race to honor those who suffered before them.

The race was followed by celebrations and radio interviews and a decadent dinner. The following day, would be when the pain and injury revealed themselves. But those will pass. The achievement, the admiration and the memory will endure. Now, others must live up to them.