Meet me at the Finish Line

By Heather Stewart
2019 Santa Clarita Marathon Ambassador

I love a finish line.
I believe that the most inspirational place you can be is a finish line.
Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, once said, “ If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.”
I believe this to be undeniably true.

A few years ago, I did the 5K at the Santa Clarita Marathon. This was back before we did all the races on the same day. I finished and I stood at the finish line watching.
I watched people finish the Mayor’s Walk with big smiles on their faces.
I watched children run in from the final mile with their parents trying to keep up.
I watched people finish their first or maybe their fortieth half marathon.
I watched people finish their first or maybe their fortieth marathon.
I watched people qualify for Boston.
I watched people get personal bests.

I watched people run, walk and limp through.
I saw people smiling. I saw people crying.

I smiled with them and I cried with them.

The emotions that go through your mind when you cross a finish line are as diverse as the people who run a race.

It is that diversity and that joy that keeps me coming back to running and has me standing at finish lines over and over.

When I ran my first marathon, I thought for sure I would break down in tears when I finished. I thought I would be weeping like a baby. But instead I just grabbed my medal and my banana and started walking to where I was meeting my friends. They were faster than me, so we made a plan to meet at a specific place.

I was fine, giddy even. Then I saw my friends stretching, drinking some gatorade, eating bananas and we made eye contact. That’s when the water works began. It didn’t really happen until I saw them.

Now, when I stand at a finish line, I hope my friends or even complete strangers see me and know someone is very proud of them and so happy for them because it really happened. THEY DID IT!

The person that is proud, it’s me. And I’m probably crying.

Wanna see me cry this year?
Sign up for one of the races and use the code SCM19HEATHER at www.scmarathon.org

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