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Lessons from Marathoner Hyvon Ngetich

  Feb 20, 2015

29 year-old Kenyan marathon runner Hyvon Ngetich stunned thousands of viewers and spectators in this year’s Austin Marathon. She led the women runners for most of the 23rd miles and was sure of victory. A few meters to the finish line, however, she collapsed, unable to walk, much less run.

She was offered a wheelchair by the medical staff. But she declined and began to crawl on all fours, determined to finish the race. Amidst cheers and encouragement from spectators and the medical staff, and with her eyes on the finish line, she crawled 50 metres, finishing third in the race, just three seconds behind second place.

The Austin Marathon race Director John Conley said to her, “You ran the bravest race and crawled the bravest crawl I have ever seen in my life. You have earned much honour.” He awarded Ngetich the same amount as the second place finisher, calling her ‘the toughest person on the planet.’

After her recovery Ngetich was able to answer questions from the media, stating that she plans to be back in Austin Next year “Running, always you have to keep going,” she said. Betram Keter of Kenya won the men’s marathon in 2:16:21 and Cynthia Jerop of Kenya won the women’s in 2:54:22. Ngetich personal record in the marathon is 2:34:42.

Her experience at the marathon provides key lessons, for everyone, in:

  • Persistence

Never give up! Life does get tough at times but that doesn’t mean you should give up on your situation, dreams, career, family or friends. Look at the bigger picture. Hang in there and hope for the best. Ngetich didn’t give up despite the agony. She pushed on and finished the race.

  • Diligence

Hard work and perseverance are key to reaching your goal. Ngetich managed to push her body and fight to get to the finish line.

  • Endurance

Have the ability to withstand hardship in life. Whatever the situation, trust that you will succeed. Do not give up when you fall. Wake up and crawl to your goal. Though her body gave in, Ngetich still managed to cross the finish line.

  • Focus

With her eyes set on the finish line, nothing could to stop Ngetich from achieving her goal. This teaches us to concentrate and strive for success with our eyes on the prize. Always focus on the end result.

  • Positive support system

You should strive to have a good support system, made up of people who believe in what you are doing. Ngetich crawled to the finish line amidst cheers from spectators, volunteers, commentators and fellow runners. Everyone encouraged her to carry on, helping her complete the race.

It is these qualities that kept her going, even when all seemed lost, finishing the marathon on all fours, but finishing nevertheless, which is all that mattered in the end.

Image credits:runLawrence.

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