‘I’m trying to beat my PB for the London Marathon,’ one of my friends posted on Facebook on Sunday morning. ‘Last year I managed 2 hours 40 minutes… before I got bored and changed channel.’
Well, I missed the live coverage completely – I was larking around on Cogden Beach at the time – so I’ve just caught up with all the drama. I’ve been blubbing over the footage of Matthew Rees helping an exhausted David Wyeth over the finish line, sacrificing the sprint finish he’d planned:
“As I got closer, I realised if I could speed up a little bit in the last few hundred metres I could finish under two hours, 50 minutes, but then I saw David and decided it was more important to make sure he finished as well. So I didn’t get the time I was looking for, but I got a memorable moment and that’s more important.”
It took him two more minutes than he’d planned to cross the finish line, and in those two minutes he inspired millions. Other runners saw Wyeth stagger and stumble, but kept running. They didn’t know him, after all – why should they sacrifice the race they’d worked so hard for?
Sometimes we get so focused on the task in front of us we forget who we really are, and why we’re really here, and what really matters. Thanks for reminding us all, Matthew Rees.