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The Unspoken Rules of Being a Badass: A Runner's Guide

The Best Marathon in the World

Marathoners cast in metal run through Stockholm

Marathoners were streaming into the west side of the stadium. They would run a partial lap around the track before ending their 26.2-mile journey at the finish line I’d just crossed.
I wanted to have one last look. I glanced back down the track at the finish line fifty yards behind me, up at the expectant faces looking down from the stands. The people in those stands in 1912 had watched Jim Thorpe win two Olympic gold medals—later stripped from him for having played two seasons of semi-professional baseball. The decision was controversial and the medals were restored after his death.
I turned to walk through the archway. On the wall high above, a staff held out the Swedish colors, a yellow cross on a sky-blue background. The flag whipped and snapped in the wind.
I ambled through the archway, clutching my plastic blanket and finisher’s medal. On this June day the Stockholm Marathon had for me already become history, my 3:26:44 finish converted to mere blips on a computer disk. I was dismayed at what had happened. Once again the awful distance had declared its mystery, sprung its trap.
My legs hurt.
I walked a short ways to a soccer field and stopped in front of a blue-eyed blond girl, exemplar of Scandinavian beauty. She looked up and, noticing the tiny American flag printed on the corner of my bib, spoke in perfect idiom:
“Did you run good?”
“I did the best I could.”
“That’s the best!”
Then she went to work with her knife, reclaiming the timing chip.

Read the full story by Dallas Smith by clicking HERE

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