Yes, I am officially a Marathon finisher.
Great weather, a dedicated support crew, the best cheer squad on the coast and a very patient pace runner (well, for a couple of Ks anyway... shhhh!) got me through.
As did an anonymously drawn picture on the road.
I've replicated it here - a smiling stick figure runner, wearing a Gold Coast Marathon Tshirt and medal.
Whoever drew it knows that for some of us out there, all we want is to get our hands on that shirt and medal. But not for the reasons that many would suspect. The "race bling" isn't for show.
Yes, we all wear our Finishers shirts. Sometimes, even in public. But when you pull on a Finisher shirt, it's not for anyone else.
Sure, people will see it and think all kinds of things - some positive, some negative. But none of that matters.
When you pull on a Finishers shirt, whether it be straight after you finish for a happy snap with your loved one, or whether it be weeks, months, or even years later, you can't help but feel something. Pride in a well deserved achievement (perhaps a PB). The memory of a great day in the sunshine. Sometimes, it's just relief that you got through what wasn't such a good day.
When you pull on a Finishers shirt, above anything else, it makes it official.