Unsung heroes & polishing wings

Posted on August 22, 2012


Everyone in our lives plays some sort of role be that the friends and family who dish us hugs when the chips are low, those to party with when they (and we!) are high, those who mentor us with career advice, those who are just the ticket for shopping and movies and it goes on …

For runners or indeed avid lovers of any sport, the role of the supporter can’t ever be overlooked.  In my own life, not a race goes by without my seeking words of motivation and support pre or during the event.

Just last week I received replies from my dad and his wife, Alex, to an email I sent re competing in OTW 100 this November.  HK Adventure Baby has asked me to be in her team and whilst I was delighted to be asked, I immediately thought: Can I do this?  Can I train alone in Dubai?  The heat and the humidity right now makes training so very tough. Can I prepare solo then successfully join the other three who will have trained together in one of the world greatest destinations for trail running? Failure isn’t a option for me … in the sense that the word doesn’t exist provided you always give it your all … but I would never be prepared to let others down …

All these questions I posed in my email and in reply? Yes. You can do it Victoria. You’re in great shape already, you have 12 weeks, you can stair climb to replicate hill training etc etc …

And there it was.  Just the words I needed to hear.  Likewise, I have some precious cards given to me pre RTP Nepal that I take to every race and read before. An email I once received from the wonderful John Meade read:

‘Everyday life can present mountainous challenges and for certain, the same logic will apply. Have a great run tomorrow Tori, feel the energy, let if flow, stay well hydrated and let that miracle body of yours work its magic.  Dazzle them all Tori … live the energy, enjoy the privilege and run strong.’

John was in Dubai just a short time but we managed some cool runs and some cooler nights involving Palm pools, watermelon vodka and my little sister Alex getting up to no good (enough said about that!) The tattered corners of his printed email however, remain in my wallet.

On a same par to the above are those who support in other ways … those who fly to far-flung countries to see us finish races, those who order and send us the kit we want or need, who help us recover and listen to us recount every (somewhat boring) detail of the event and again, it goes on …

And finally, there are the volunteers themselves who give up days and nights to stand in the cold to feed and fuel us at each and every aid station.

It’s all these people who are the unsung heroes of our sport.  They polish the wings that enable us to fly so next time you see them, tell them THANK YOU! 


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