A marathon in the snow

It really happened. On this sunday in late October Slovenia woke up under a blanket of snow. It was cold, it was wet and the snowing wouldn’t stop. What would those thousands of participants of the Ljubljana Marathon have thought when they looked out of the window this morning? They had 10, 21 or 42 very cold kilometers of suffering ahead of them. I did not run. I watched people pass with blue faces and foggy glasses, with beards where cold waterdrops were slowly falling off. I saw the display on a building indicating it was 2 degrees Celsius. I heard shoes splash in melting snow, I heard feet sopping in wet shoes. I heard heavy breathing, sighing and groaning and there wasn’t anything erotic about it. This was the 17th Ljubljana Marathon and although I didn’t witness the previous 16 editions, I’m quite sure this was the toughest one of them all. Maybe even of all of them together.
There was one man today for whom the cold didn’t seem to exist. Shiferaw Berhanu from Ethopia wore tiny shorts and a thin singlet. He took long steps in a high rhythm. I looked at his feet and couldn’t see them touch the ground. This wasn’t running but ballet. I was lost in admiration and I don’t even like ballet. I watched Berhanu disappear towards to finish and decided that next year I will run too.

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