The Long Run

Running away from the busy streets of downtown Toronto I find myself in farm country in the Markham-Stouffville area of Ontario. The early morning skies are a ménage of reds yellows and pinks as I easily settle into my long slow run. The sun peeks over vast fields of corn and farmhouses sporadically dot the horizon.

I have 5 weeks until my next marathon and this morning I aim to get myself to 32 kilometres — the benchmark for many running aficionados that marks a runner’s passage into full marathon readiness.

As motorists speed by I note who is a runner and who isn’t by how much leeway they afford me. Slim shoulders abut the roads, grudgingly delineating the pedestrian’s meagre ration. Sidewalks are nonextant. Those sympathetic to my efforts obligingly share the narrow confines of the single lane traffic while those who blithely barrel forward mark me as an interloper to their avenues. Aside from ensuring I am a safe respectable distance from their oncoming vehicles, I pay the latter no heed. The morning’s riches offer far too much to be ignored for long.

Signs for farmer’s markets mingle with decorative scarecrows and haystacks, allusions each to the autumnal tides that are already making their eventuality felt. Soon the colours of the trees will contribute their hues, augmenting the vistas that envelop me.

My feet skim the lands. Over hills and ’round corners. Each step bringing me closer to my goals. Each step a reminder of the health I’ve been blessed with.

As geese make their way southward I am reminded how time is fleeting. Another season gone. The geese cry out. Their calls mimicking my breaths. They above. I below. Each of us relishing nature’s gifts as we stride to our respective destinations. Perhaps in the spring our paths will cross again. Another time. Another marathon. I won’t recognize them. But will they remember me?

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