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Sharing a surprise medal

 
 

 

AT THE WORLD OUTGAMES, COPENHAGEN, 2009

 

My first marathon.  42 km.  Tough.  
 
Part of me wanted to quit, part of me kept going - even when I was trailing far-far behind. 

I was so far behind, they'd remove all signage when I passed. 

I must be the last, I thought.  Oh the embarrassment of that.

But I kept going.  It was a race with myself. 

Sounds like self consolation, cliche but true:  I won because I didn't give up. 
 
For me that was enough.
 
To my utter surprise I found I had won a medal. 

I was the last to finish.  How could I have won a medal? I wondered. 

It was clear how. 

There were only two participants in my age category.  The silver medal was mine by default. 

I laughed out loud. 

Then my thoughts went to Billy.  We'd trained together. 

How could I have won a medal, and not Billy?  He is so much faster.

Billy had finished an hour ahead of me, but in a different age category. 

I felt bad.  It was not fair. 
 
I collected my medal, I didn't put it on. 

Later that afternoon when I met Billy I gave it to him. 

"You deserve it more than I do", I said. 

He looked puzzled and laughed.
 

"How can I take it?  It's yours!"  He said.

I insisted he put it on first. 

Reluctantly he did, only for that day. 

I have the medal back with me now.  In my mind I will always share it with Billy, with whom I trained, and without whom I probably wouldn't have registered for the marathon.

 
 
 
At the finish line
 
 
Celebrating after the run
 
 
© Photos Courtesy Hanne Andersson

 

 

VIEW RELATED VIDEO:

http://www.delhifrontrunners.org/2009/outgames2009

 

 

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