Just a quick post, so I lied earlier on when I said my next post would be my last.
The presentation is over, a great night, and so many stories of courage and determination. I know I got a good time, a great finish, one I should be proud of, but seeing and talking to other Parish walkers who put so much more into it, a motivating, encouraging night which showed it's not just about the top finishers.
The merit award was won by a brave guy who deserved all his applause. To put himself through so much despite the diabetes and the troubles the disease causes, and still reach his target was humbling, a true sign of courage maybe worth more than the top guys who take being at the front for granted.
Us at the front, (and I still feel humbled to say that, I have all the right training and help so have an advantage) feel like we have a right to be there, but listening to all the stories of walkers who don't have all the help, the training facilities, or the lucky breaks to get those top positions, find the stories of people walking through the night despite all the bad times, injuries and terrible luck still have the determination to drag themselves over the finish line. And still have a smile on their faces despite hobbling injuries to call themselves a Parish walk finisher. It's a piece of glass with a bit of etching on it, yet to all finishers it's a precious trophy which stands for probably the most couragious thing they have ever done. I know that from all my belongings, almost all can be replaced. But, if my house was on fire and my family was safe, the only thing I would go back in there and save would be my Parish trophies, because they stand for a thing which can't be described, unless by another Parish finisher.
So, congratulations to all finishers, feel proud, and tell everyone about it. When people ask "How far did you get?" Smile, and just nonchalantly say "Oh, I finished..." and soak up the congratulations.
So, one final blog to come, at the weekend, when I've sorted out the info.
I'm raising a glass to all finishers, well done, and see you next year.