While in Alaska, our group visited Seward after a morning hike on the Fourth. It seemed quite fitting to view the famous Mount Marathon Race on this our nation's birthday. The race is to the top of Mount Marathon which is over 3000 feet from sea level in the town of Seward.
The race has national acclaim and the entire town and thousands of visitors embrace the thrill of viewing the small number allowed to participate in the race. The day includes a youth race--half way up the mountain; a women's race; and the climax event of the men's race, both to the tip-top.
All ages, sizes and shapes enter the grueling climb and slide back down the scree covered mountain. There is NO definite path-pick your best path is the order of the day--as long as you get to the top and back down again--the way you go is up to you.
This year's race was run on a rainy-cloudy day. Unfortunately we could not see all the way to the very top of the mountain, but we saw plenty!
At times the race becomes a trial of perseverance--as one of the female runners told us---it was a hike--not a run.
An act of maintaining balance and trying to stay on your feet marks the scree filled plunge back down the mountain.
Not everyone succeeds in staying vertical and many came down bloody and muddy. There are always a handful of race ending injuries, and even a local legend about a runner who disappeared.
But everyone that touches this rock on the top and makes it back to the finish line, is entitled to proudly wear the "Finisher's Shirt".
In the Grand Delusion I live in, I am able to run this race on Mount Marathon---but in reality world-my body disagrees sharply. I am certain you know where I am headed. This looks exactly like life to me. The path is my choice, but there will be hazards along the way. Maintaining balance is essential, but when a fall occurs--jump back up and keep trekking the path. Look to The Guide for path markers and direction and keep moving forward. The goal is to finish well and receive the "Finisher's Shirt" with the satisfaction of a race run with integrity and a good finish as you cross the "Finish Line." My prayer almost everyday is to "Finish Well." For now--I am choosing my path with care and maintaining forward motion---with my eye on the prize.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
II Timothy 4:7