World Wide HalfHave you ever run a half marathon, or have you ever wanted to? Steve Runner, the host of the internet radio show Phedippidations, has organized a half marathon race that takes places in 23 different countries this weekend. The half marathon is a mutual race run by people all over the world either this Saturday or Sunday, October 7-8,with a few exceptions that have already run and a few running the weekend after. It is a great community building event, and Steve’s latest podcast is a collection of a lot of contributors cheering people on. I even heard a random person cheer for me on the podcast. (Yes, I listened to it already; I don’t run with headphones on so I figured I could listen early.) Steve sent out the official welcome letter a few minutes ago, and here’s a passage from it that I thought I would share:

No one forced you to run 13.1 miles, you decided to do it on your own. You have accepted a physical challenge that 0.1 of 1% of the human beings who are alive today could not, or would not be capable of facing.

Make no mistake about it: to run 21 kilometers is a difficult task by any measure: but its not an impossible task for someone like you who shares the same indomitable spirit, dedication to training and physical ability that over 511 of your fellow runners enjoy.

Many of us will continue to receive blank stares from those around us who question our sanity for accepting a World Wide Challenge, but our response has to remain supportive. We need to encourage others to accept such a challenge to improve the quality of their lives, and to live their life to the fullest.

Running is much more than just an activity to make us sweat: its a lifestyle; its a way of being. We inhabit this vessel called our bodies with a noble purpose, and we believe that as runners we set positive examples to those around us.

Those blank stares will come from others who fail to understand how you could have put yourself through the self imposed torture of a half marathon run without the tangible reward of a medallion, trophy or prize. We need to demonstrate through our actions and running that the prize is in the satisfaction of achieving our goals, and what Dr. George Sheehan called the peace beyond understanding found across the finish line of our races.

The website for the World Wide Half has more information about the race, as well as a list of registrations and (soon) results.

For myself, I am not sure exactly what I will be doing. As of right now, I am leaning towards running the final Craig Cup cross country race as part of the Maine USATF Grand Prix and using a run home as a cool down. I would probably just use 13 of the 15-17 or so miles of the cool down as my participation in the wold wide half. That should leave me with about 20 to 22 miles on the day, if I decide to do that. That is all contingent upon my getting a ride to Cumberland so that I don’t have to leave my truck behind. My original plan of running my 20 miler on Sunday has taken back seat to taking the help installing a new bathroom vent when I can get it.