Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » Victorian Pheidippides


It was in the 60s versus last year’s 30s. We made the trip again and served our city proud. It was the annual 3M Half Marathon and Relay in Austin this past weekend. Did I run it? No way, I am S.A.G. I think I will create a T-shirt, “Buy a S.A.G. a beer.” My beautiful other half is the runner. She did well, although I am sure to catch heck for mentioning her run. So no details, just know she did awesome!

It is one of the oldest forms of sport that we know. It is so simple, put one leg in front of the other. However, I find it one of the hardest sports to conquer. Similar to many sports, it is tons of training and then on top of that it is a mental game. “I just want to give up” is much easier given most of the time it is an individual sport. When a stranger, acquaintance, or friend says they have been training for a race, I have a mental bow. The runner generates tremendous respect from me for the all the endurance, training, consistency, trial, and determination it takes to challenge yourself to better yourself. I find it one of the best forms of sport because there is no external competition. Competition will not make you train harder and give you more emotional stamina when the brain, body, and will deteriorate. Yes, many runners do run against someone. But for the most part, the runner is only competing internally, against their own prior run. In a sense, running is most difficult for the competition is most stringent, yourself. Congrats to all the area runners that competed either in Austin or Houston.

They are runners. There were thousands of runners, some running better than before, some having trouble. There is a common bond that is shared in runners. I don’t have it; I have only seen it, ok, smelt it, and you can almost taste it, the vision of shared triumph. They are proud and deservingly so. Their cars have random numbers like 26.2 or 13.1 or a numerical/word combination like “Triathlon.” This community is wonderful to see. It is quite interesting to see these runners come in, from all different races, sex, and backgrounds, and experience the natural high that comes along with running. An even greater sight to see is the men and women that have been handicapped, and literally push themselves for the duration of the course.

We are Victorians. We were walking around the crowd, I am mesmerized by the skill of all the contemporary and real images of the mythical and memorable Pheidippides. Most of the crowd we don’t know, but then you find a couple of Victorians and your pride swells for finding another from your community that exacted energy from within to complete a grueling adventure.

I am not a runner, only a S.A.G. However, if you are looking for a group to motivate you to push and pull yourself to compete against the hardest competition, the Victoria Area Road Runners Association is a good place to start, there may be other runners’ groups, but this is the only one I know. Like the rest of the Victoria associations I have met, this group is very hospitable, encouraging, and fun. Once again, congrats to the area runners!