Oprah's Marathon: Act Two

RunTri.com Racing Coverage ||

It's a marathon of a different kind, this time.

The story is out. Oprah weighs 200 pounds. She's embarrassed. She looks at photos that show her, well, a bit more fit. Fit enough to run the Marine Corps Marathon in 1994.

But can she run a marathon today? She's probably tell you: no.

We're here to say: we think she can. It has everything to do with attitude. A sign at the 2002 Boston Marathon said it best: All You Need Now is to Want it Bad Enough. Easy as that.

Or so several thousand 200+ pounders who race and complete the Chicago Marathon each year. For them it's about the goal, the challenge, the discipline, the dedication, and the execution. Size doesn't matter to them; the goal does.

Maybe Oprah doesn't want to be her old marathon self. Fine, too. She is who she is today, but she will also always be known as a marathon runner and a marathon finisher, no matter her size.

That's the Oprah you'll always know; the one who can do epic things one day, and then cheer others attempting their own epic challenge the next.

As Oprah did in 1994, one week after running her Marine Corp Marathon, she was at the 21-mile point of the Chicago Marathon. No entourage, just Oprah, standing on the curb, clapping and cheering.

I was running my debut marathon that day, realistically against all sense and reason. There was no way I could ever run a marathon, others said. I wasn't sure myself. But there at mile 21, there was support and encouragement.

Honestly, at that point, I didn't care all that much that it was Oprah. I finished that day in just under 5 hours, among the last 15%.

It could have been enough, I could have been done with running. But once you've been there, once you find that something extra, you know you can do more.

I got the sense that Oprah was saying that by being at mile 20 for thousands of runners, and I get the sense that thousands, millions, are there for her now.

She did it then, she'll do it now. Before it was a marathon. Now, its a different journey, but as long as she wants it bad enough, she'll get there. And millions will learn from her example.

The AP 'Oprah is 200 Pounds' story is here. The better story, the one about her inspiring 1994 Marine Corps Marathon is here.

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