I am counting down the days until April 15, which is Marathon Monday here in Boston. It’s one of the best days of the year and I am so excited to be on the sidelines as a fan this year, cheering on my sister’s boyfriend Chris, Kara Goucher, Shalene Flanagan, and – perhaps most of all – Guor Marial.
This story is one of the best possible of the Feel Good Friday variety.
Marial is one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan”. He literally ran from his captors, escaping as a refugee and settling in the states. Of running, he says it is not something he ever planned to pursue, in fact – he swore that after leaving Sudan he would never run again.
It turns out he was incredibly talented and continued running after all, eventually qualifying to run in the Olympics. He refused to run under the Sudanese flag, and South Sudan was such a new, young nation that it lacked an Olympic committee. He petitioned the IOC and was granted permission to run under the Olympic flag – a runner without a country.
Guor, who grew up in New Hampshire, will be returning “home” to run the Boston Marathon in two weeks.I came across this KickStarter page by way of Runner’s World a few weeks ago, but wanted to wait until April to feature it as my Feel Good Friday story. Turns out Thursday night was a doozy and March 29 is close enough to April for me. It’s go-time for Guor.
A local filmmaker has set up a KickStarter page to raise $12,000 to shoot a documentary about Guor. What I find particularly interesting is how many stories there are to tell, and how educational and informative his story actually is – it speaks to both politics and sport and above all, perseverance.
I cannot imagine anyone not rooting for Marial, on the roads from Hopkinton to Boston, or back to South Sudan, or on whatever world stage he finds himself. I hope that this project is funded and supported and shared. I hope it inspires you on this Friday morning and fuels your workouts this weekend.