Sunday, April 14, 2013

Pilgrimage to Mecca

At least once in his or her lifetime, each Muslim is expected to undertake a pilgrimage to Mecca, the sacred city of Islam.
On my "Life List," there's an item that reads, "Make a pilgrimage to Mecca." No, I haven't converted to Islam or anything like that. But I am a marathon runner. In my world, I'm in Mecca right now.
Which is known in these parts as....
It's the annual pilgrimage that happens every April by marathon runners from all over the world. It's a Patriot's Day celebration of our sport.
Many thousands have purified themselves through much sweat and physical training. Many have trained their bodies hard just to get here. Others have sacrificed and raised funds to help others by finding cures for diseases and other physical problems.
Tomorrow morning, they'll take part in the annual ritual. The 26.2-mile journey from Hopkinton to Boston.
I'm not running tomorrow -- but I have enjoyed the race before. In 1996, for the 100th running, I was picked in the special lottery held to select runners for the "open division." Even as a fairly new runner, the magic of the event didn't escape me.
There's a respect here. A love of the sport unlike anywhere else. It's special. Can't wait for the starting gun.

No comments: