“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (ESV)
Despite the fact that jogging is often a solitary pursuit, especially when training for a marathon, there are certainly benefits that come from slogging-it-out with a mate:
1. It adds variety to your routine.
2. You can support, motivate, encourage, and challenge one another.
3. Having someone to chat to – or not, depending on your mood – provides a helpful distraction thereby reducing the tedium of a long-run.
The first, Tanaka-san, is 66yo and regularly wins marathons in his age category. We run at a similar pace and his eigo (英語: English) is good enough for us to chat whilst we do laps around Ōsaka-jō (大阪城: Ōsaka Castle).
The second, Scott Brown, at 48yo is about my age. He’s a tribute to the virtues of patience, perseverance and tenacity. Completing a marathon in 2h45m he stills aims to get even faster. When most guys at his age are thinking about hanging up their “racing flats” as injuries take their toll, he’s doing the mileage and speed work necessary to improve his times.
Yet, although both are very accomplished, they’re humble enough to pound-the-pavement with a novice like me.
That’s the beauty of this sport. It really brings out the best in people.
I look forward to meeting and running with many more friends in the years to come.
Kim | marathon runner