Sunday, March 9, 2014

Ethiopian Grace

I turned on the television this morning just in time to watch Amane Gobena fight through the last four miles to win the L.A. Marathon at 8:35 am.

What grace, endurance, strength, courage!  Her long dark legs moved rhythmically.  Her arms swung in front of her, the left, then the right.  She wore a bright pink top with the number F17 and darker pink shorts.  

She glanced behind her two or three times in the last three miles to see if Tigist Tufa, also Ethiopian, was catching up--or one of the men runners.  Tigist's stride was stronger than Amane's, but she never closed the gap, coming in second.

Signs of the pain and exhaustion Amane was battling occasionally flashed across her face.

She won in 2 hours, 27 minutes, 37 seconds, also coming in ahead of the closest man, Gebo Burka, another Ethiopian.

"Gobena won $50,000 for winning the gender 'challenge.' The women were given a 17:41 head start and Gobena finished 41 seconds ahead of Burka," explained LA Times reporter Gary Klein.,0,5132313.story#axzz2vUF8mYGP

What a joy to watch this woman show her strength and skill. and on the day after International Women's Day!

Men and women competing together could not have happened a hundred years ago.  In fact, this is only the 29th L.A. Marathon.

What long, beautiful bodies these Ethiopians have!  For tens of thousands of years humans have adapted to survive and live in those African deserts.  Those that were more long and lean passed on their genetic secrets.

A group called "Run To Save a Soul" was among the thousands of other runners, some of whom a KTLA reporter interviewed on live television.  They were running for the drug and alcohol recovery program at Beit T'Shuvah in Culver City and gave a shout out to it.  

The synagogue offers free rehab to those who need it.  I've attended Al-Anon meetings there and know several people who have completed rehab there.

And now--off to walk a mere 14 blocks over to Ocean Avenue to watch additional runners cross the finish line.  I'll take Stormy and Na'ilah for their most exciting walk yet.

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