A Runner

In honor of those hurt during the Boston Marathon.

Marcus ran down the park path. Arms pumping and legs searing with pain, in his mind he saw himself pulling past Ryan Hall at the thirteen mile marker during the Chicago Half Marathon. Marcus surged ahead and even though his legs were screaming for him to stop, his mind roared to continue.

“Faster,” he said.

A few people sitting on benches watched him as he ran. Marcus amplified them into hundreds and thousands of screaming fans all shouting his name. He imagined them turning to one another and saying things like:

“He’s going to break the record!”

“Ryan Hall’s going to have to retire because of Marcus.”

“No one, I mean no one can run like Marcus Torres.”

Marcus started to smile as he coasted along the next bend. His strong legs would take him anywhere he wanted to go, as fast as he wanted to get there. Dogs, he laughed, he would pass dogs without even blinking an eye. And he loved when people were out walking. They were his obstacle course. He loved it even more when he ran through the forest, dodging animals and tree branches, frightening away deer.

During his run he never listened to music. He only wore what was necessary, nothing extra. He carried one small water bottle and knew all the places he could fill it up. He would be gone for hours at a time, running farther than a marathon and keeping up a brilliant pace.

In reality, he didn’t keep track of how far or how fast or how long. He just ran because he liked to run. Where others read books or went to the theater, Marcus Torres loved to run. And so he did everyday.


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