This wasn't my fastest half-marathon (and even my fastest is slow), but any one I finish still feels like a victory. Every run, in fact, is unique. It feels like you've told yourself a story, carved something out of the world and out of yourself, and whether or not it's the same route, every day is different.
I once asked a sporty friend to tell me the likelihood that, in all the years baseball's been played, there have ever been two games with the same box score, in which every pitch was played the same way. The odds are incalculably astronomically against it, he said. (He's also pretty good at math and stats and whatnot.) That, to me, is the most interesting thing about baseball.
Running is like that. So today it was cold (but not as cold as last year) and I wasn't in training (and last year I was) and this year I ran with friends and talked (and last year I pushed pretty hard), and this year I had more to think about while running. And even though the same guy won the race (he wins all the races around here), his time was different, too.
And humans are like that. So when the Celebrate Life Half Marathon director called out the cancer survivors who had come out to volunteer, or to run, and talked about the mission of CROC, the group that benefits from the race, it was one of those times where events and people fuse in a way that they never have before and never will again -- an absolutely unique moment, and one worth celebrating. L'chaim.