more than gold

Tomorrow is the final day of the Olympics, and there are at least two things to keep your eye on.  At 15.40 on Sunday, Beijing time, Hungary will play the United States for the gold medal in waterpolo.  Hungary has won 8 gold medals in the sport since 1932.

The other thing to watch is the men’s marathon at 07.30 Beijing time (01:30 Budapest time / 19.30 Saturday Virginia time).  I’ve been waiting for this for the the last two weeks (though I’ll have to just catch the highlights on youtube).  Ryan Hall is the USA hope for gold.  Though Ryan has only competed in 3 official marathons, he holds the fastest olympic qualifying time for an American.  If I remember correctly, in London recently, he ran the marathon in 2:06:17.  Whoa.  That is not far off of the world record.  But there are three Kenyons who are running the same speed right now, so Ryan will be up against the fastest group in history.

But Ryan is running for more than a gold medal.  Ryan will be running in the memory of one of his best friends, Ryan Shay, who collapsed and died at the fifth mile of the olympic trials.  Ryan also talks a lot about letting go of all of the lofty goals of running a faster time or winning first place.  He talks a lot about the joy of simply running for God.  This is what he calls being “free to run.”  You can see his training video here.

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