Yesterday was the Twin Cities Marathon, aka the most beautiful urban marathon. My eldest son was running as was one of his coworkers. This was the coworker’s first marathon and he asked my son for advice. (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

My son told him to “run your own race.” This was followed by a list of examples that might make that seem hard. Paraphrasing my son’s advice, he said, “People will pass you. Pay no attention to them. Some man with a sign saying he is in the 85+ group will shuffle on pass you at a determined speed. Pay no attention. Run your own race. Some woman who looks like she is race walking will pass you too. Pay no attention. Just run your own race. People wearing flip flops or running barefoot will pass you. Ignore them and run your own race.” I think my son’s point was to focus on your own race and not let competitors distract you.

My son’s wife and kids and I were at mile 23-24. The early runners went flying by and the winner finished 2 hours, 11 minutes and 16 seconds. Both first and second place men were from Kenya.

East African runners also swept the women’s podium, with Serkelam Biset of Ethiopia winning in 2:31:39 over Kenya’s Jane Kibii (2:31:44) and Ethiopian Simegn Abnet (2:32:43).

Once the elite runners passed, it was clear that people were running their own races for a variety of reasons. Several people were wearing t-shirts that said, “I run for Molly.”

Three people ran carrying American flags. No people in Minnesota carried a confederate flag. People wore pink for breast cancer month. Three women wore glittery tutus over their running shorts to the total delight of my 4 year old granddaughter who said, “Look Nana, princesses are running too.”

Awards for costumes would go the the couple where one was running in a gorilla costume and the other as a banana. Also, to the couple where he was wearing some sort of styrofoam tooth and she was dressed as the tooth fairy. Think about doing 26.2 miles in a gorilla costume. Really, run your own race.

Cheering for the runners is a perfect activity for kids. No sit down and be quiet here. Stand at the white line at the edge of the street and yell and cheer and jump around and it’s all good. My oldest granddaughter had two friends with her who cheered, “We are proud of you. You can do this. Keep going. Stay strong.”

This was to the accompaniment of “thunder sticks” which are inflatable tubes that make a great noise. The 4 year old and the 7 year old stood with a hand out for a high 5. They wished the runners “good luck” and many veered slightly off course to thank them.

Everyone may have been running their own race, but there was a whole community cheering them on.