Early morning. Pouring rain. Freezing temperatures. You thought you were the only insane person out running until you saw another runner up ahead. When you two crossed paths, you gave each other a nod and a smile as if to say, “Good morning, you crazy mothereffer.“
You made it to the finish line but underperformed based on your projected time. You trained and gave your best, but it just wasn’t your day. When greeted by loved ones and supporters, you nonetheless let out a determined smile and vowed to return faster and stronger.
The last 80 miles have thrashed your quads and put your mental game on trial. You’re cold, wet, and exhausted. “How the hell am I gonna go another 20 miles?” you thought. Thankfully, you made it to an aid station and were greeted by smiling volunteers who sacrificed days of their own time for the sole purpose of getting you to the finish line.
You have been running with this fellow participant all day, sharing the workload and hitting the splits. 42 km of sweat and pain came down to a sprint finish. It wasn’t about bragging rights and sure wasn’t petty competitiveness—just weekend warriors giving your absolute best. At the finish line, bent over and trying not to lose your breakfast, you shook hands and smiled (some would call it a grimace).
That’s mutual respect.