"Slow Is The New Fast"

>> Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Years ago, I was obsessed with a Cy Coleman / Dorothy Fields musical called Seesaw. It starred Tommy Tune and featured a song called “It’s Not Where You Start.” It came back to mind this morning, when I was reading Tara Parker-Pope’s story in the New York Times about her experience running the ING New York City Marathon.

Tara writes that she was “at the back of the pack of the estimated 43,000 who participated in the New York City Marathon, and I was thrilled to be there.” Like most of the runners out that day, she was not out to gain anything but a sense of doing her best. And you've got to love the slogan on her shirt: “Slow Is the New Fast.”

There was someone else out there this weekend too, someone we have an especially soft spot for. Zoe Koplowitz holds the world record for the longest time to finish a marathon (sorry, Tara!): she also has multiple sclerosis (MS) and diabetes.This year, Zoe completed a mind-blowing 21st consecutive NYC marathon, after 28 hours and 45 minutes.

That’s a Monday afternoon finish, for a race that started Sunday morning. Apart from helping to raise awareness about MS, and more than $210,000 to fight it, Zoe showed us something else: you don’t have to come in first to win.

The lyrics to that song from Seesaw, by the way? They go like this:

It's not where you start, it's where you finish
It's not how you go, it's how you land
A hundred to one shot, you call him a clutz
Can out run the favorite, all he needs is the guts
Your final return will not diminish
And you can be the cream of the crop
It's not where you start, it's where you finish
And you're gonna finish on top!

Here’s hoping you’re well.



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