Yesterday I participated in the No Limits Marathon at San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily to support the accessibility project at the local beach. This was a non-competitive 5k “marathon” where streets were closed along a route that allowed anyone to participate.
The route was along the beach and through the city.
There were people who participated in their chair and even one who used a hand bike. This is one of the guests of honor (below). Everyone wanted to take a picture with him and his neat bike–even the Mayor! By the end of the photo shoot, he was making jokes that he would have to bat away all the paparazzi to start the race.
The majority were able-bodied and many were children. One group in particular was participating for their friend Nikki who has cancer. “Nikki non mollare” – Nikki don’t give up!
In true Italian style, when we crossed the finish-line, we were met with a heart-healthy breakfast of Nutella sandwhiches! Nothing like the scent of Nutella to motivate you to sprint to the finish-line!! (Note the size of the bottle on the table: a small child could fit in there!)
(While eating my Nutella sandwhich) I was fortunate enough to see this participant cross the finish-line. He was another one of the guests of honor and everyone cheered for him as he received his metal. He was so happy! I wish I could have captured it in the photo, but his joy was so infectious and heartwarming, and it became one of the highlights of the event for me.
No matter how many races I do, this one will always stand out. It was such an amazing experience to see such a wide variety of people come together. We are all so easily separated by age, ability, and all the trivial things that can be so divisive. But to see people come together in such a happy and supportive event was pretty neat.
This will be a race I will always remember.