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The Boston Marathon and the Importance of Sport

The thing about sport is that it doesn’t matter very much, yet we participate as though it matters very much indeed.

Sport allows us to push ourselves hard and to take risks that would be foolish in any aspect of real life that actually mattered. The rewards and the benefits of this can be huge, and can transfer powerfully over into our real lives.

Sport allows us to tap into glorious emotional highs and lows that would be madness in real life.

Sport is a land of make-believe that has the capacity to bring out so much that is good in ourselves.

The language of sport is universal. It’s one of the few things in our crazy, fractured, divisive world “where no participant is worried about another’s race, religion or wealth; and where the only concern is ‘Have you come to play?'”

And this is why the bombs at yesterday’s Boston marathon have made me so sad and so angry.

This weekend is the London Marathon. It feels now like an even more important event, a more powerful force for good than it usually does.

If you are running the London Marathon this weekend, run harder than you have ever run before.

If you have friends running the race for charity, give more money to their good cause than you have given before.

If you are going along to watch, cheer the runners louder than you have cheered before.

Cheer for all the runners.

Cheer for all the runners who are pushing themselves hard, pushing back their limits, inspiring others and inspiring themselves.

Cheer for all the runners, whatever their political views, personal vendettas, race, religion, nationality or economic status might be. Because there is no place in sport for any of that.

Cheer loud, run hard.

it's always worth running

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  1. Eirini Posted

    Plus it promotes dedication, self improvement, inspiration Events like these are glorious manifestations of what human can achieve. Represents the train, the work and the result. It is a celebration of bright sides of our human nature.
    Marathons that everybody can participate is an amazing demonstration of civilization and society.
    It is great that people can share and celebrate and become better just with a pair of shoes!!!
    I do really hope that this was a act of an insane individual and not a group but regardless
    We will all be at the London’s Marathon 🙂 Stronger, Louder, Harder 🙂

  2. I always feel like crying when I watch marathons or similar. The sense of other people’s achievement is monumental 🙂

  3. Jackson Posted

    Well said Al. I’ve run Marathons in most corners of the world and they are without doubt one of the most wonderful examples of humanity celebrating sport and life as one. I’ve seen this nowhere more evident than in the Middle East, at the Beirut Marathon for example, which has now grown to over 30,000 participants and to which I return year after year. This event, and others like it, have become tremendous unifying forces in many culturally diverse countries and regions. Long may that spirit of humanity continue through sport, in all corners of the world.

  4. Santosh Jayaram Posted

    That was an excellent note, Alastair. Love the new look of the web. Very cool!



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