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A True View From The Back Of The Pack

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jul. 10, 2013
  • Updated Jul. 11, 2013 at 1:52 PM UTC

Despite the slow times, there’s no lack of inspiration there.

Duluth News Tribune columnist Cindy Lee Deuser has penned a recent article about her experiences running Grandma’s Marathon last month.

While most of the running headlines covers the top finishers, Deuser spends some words explaining what it’s like to be near the bottom.

She has run 10 Grandma’s Marathons and 27 marathons overall.

“As my age has taken hold and my training has slipped, I’ve finished closer and closer to course limits,” she admits. “This year’s Grandma’s I was so far back that my race began nearly seven minutes after the frontrunners.”

She says that the most inspiration she finds in the back is from the runners who are coming back from something such as a heart attack, stroke, or personal loss.

“They remind me running is more than exercise; it can be therapy and redemption,” she says.

As Deuser neared the finish, close to the cutoff time, her spirits flagged. A fellow back-of-the-pack runner encouraged her to keep going by saying, “You’re not going to quit. You have spirit.”

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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