I don’t know who she was. I’ll never know who she was. But I will always remember her.
There we were, 3.75 miles into a 4 mile race. She was younger than 50, so not my competition as far as age group goes. And she was right in front of me as we turned the curve to the finish line. I picked up my pace a little; I wanted to sprint over that line, but I was pretty much at my limit.
Still, I managed to pass her. Barely. I felt her pick up her pace. I tried to do likewise, but there was nothing in reserve. I was falling behind. And then it happened : she slowed down. Not much. Just enough to stay right beside me. No words were spoken. None were needed. The encouragement, the c’mon! c’mon! was there in the act. She kept that pace until three paces before the first line, then she pulled away.
“GO!” I yelled! “Go, go, go!”
And she did.
Because of her, I was able to shave 21 seconds off my time from last year’s race. Because of her, I was able to push myself beyond what I thought I could. Because of her, I am reminded of the goodness of humankind.
It was just a little sacrifice. But it was made for me. And I will remember that always.