Required Reading for Distance Runners

Motivation is a topic that often comes up when the discussion turns to running. It is an issue all runners encounter, experienced as well as recreational, when looking for a little push out the door to go for a run. Anyone looking for that extra nudge should read Worth the Wait written by sports columnist Rick Reilly many years ago for Sports Illustrated.

Worth the Wait is among the most uplifting articles ever written about distance running and should be required reading for all runners. After reading about Ben Comen, a courageous cross-country runner with cerebral palsy from Hanna High School in Anderson, S.C., any runner who considers a wimpy excuse like a rough day at work or a bad night sleep will be embarrassed into lacing up and hitting the trail. It’s impossible not to be inspired by a sixteen year old high school junior who stumbles and crashes his body into the ground most races, but crosses the finish line each time to the cheers and tears of teammates and fans from both teams.

Ben finishes races bloody and bruised, but never broken. When asked about his determination he says, “I like to show people that you can either stop trying or you can pick yourself up and keep going. It’s just more fun to keep going.” If that’s not incentive to get out the door and onto the trail, you better check for a pulse.

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About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
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