Mile thirteen was approaching slowly. The finish line seemed light years away. I hated the fact that I needed to walk a portion of my half marathon. After all I just finished a 1.2-mile swim and a fifty-six mile bike and my feet had had enough. I always thought somehow I was never a true “endurance athlete” because sometimes I need to walk a portion of a race. When you have bilateral clubfeet sometimes you don’t have an option. You have to do what your body wants. Although mentally I can hang in there, on occasion my feet say, “Hey, stop. You're killing me. What are you doing, you idiot?” I have since discovered over the years, that racing these distances can take the legs and feet out of the best of us.
I guess the definition of being a endurance athlete is being able to endure the challenging and daunting distances set before us. Yes, even the pros are forced to walk, its true! What do you mean Chris Lieto had to walk? What about Mark Allen or Dave Scott? These triathlete gods never had to walk because of pain, did they? How about, dare I say it, Chris McCormack! Oh no, never!
I feel no shame when I am forced to walk, not because the pros are forced to walk with out warning, but because I have some limitations. I can say with confidence that I am doing what doctors said I was stupid for doing, what people said I can’t do, and what, sometimes, my feet tell me not to do.
In honor of the disabled, capable, pro and age groupers alike, I did some research and found some inspiring videos that should give us pride and motivation when we are forced to walk. Enjoy these popular pro's hurting, vomiting, crawling, crying, and walking.