55) Piggyback

“Only a short while ago, the Rennsteiglauf trail run took place, with me participating in the half-marathon. 21km through the Thuringian forest, constantly uphill and then steep downhill again. Due tot he Corona situation, they extended the starting time, let us start in different blocks and lanes, with time intervals. I was in the first block and came therefore quite early into the finish. Until the rest of my family was there, who started at different times throughout the day, I had several hours time fo watch people finish. That is always interesting— seeing all those different people, their expressions, running styles, reactions…

There were many who had grazed their knee or elbow and even someone bleeding on his head. The Rennsteig trail has many sections full of roots and stones, where you can fall easily. Those who could got back up and continued running. Others had to stop their race early. I was told how people were running around someone who had fallen in one place, without helping. But in another case someone was putting the own race, a potential good time, on the backburner for helping another person:

Maybe twenty minutes after I came, a special couple approached the finish: a young man who was giving a bit older one a piggy back until they crossed the finish line. The moderators asked them why. Apparently, the older one of the two was completely done and could not continue running anymore. That was when the other one carried him. I do not know anything about them, whether they knew each other, are related, or if they just met by chance— but no matter what, I have a lot of respect for the decision to run for someone else, not for your own performance.”