We wanted to share this brilliant poem written by a senior midwife who spectated at the 2021 finish line:

“Pot bellies

Lean bellies

Relaxed finishes

Staggering finishes

Crowds cheering for them in a way
that makes you remember we can be good

Humanity can be SO good

Runners lurching

Runners retching

Runners red faced

Runners pale

Or worse still
Pale, lurching, retching AND wretched

Short runners

Tall runners

Runners in wheelchairs arms trembling

Bent over runners

Runners with arms clenched

Runners with arms open wide

Runners in pain

Runners smiling

Runners in Tiger costumes

And pink dresses

Runners walking

Runners sprinting

Desperate runners and

Runners cheering

Men and women runners

And everyone wonderfully in-between and far outside runners

Lonely runners head down thoughts inside

Runners with families cheering in uninhibited pride

Runners bouncing in ease

Runners trembling at their knees

Runners head down praying for it to end

Runners’ eyes fixed at that finish line, crying so much as they come round that bend

Runners inspiring us

All shapes and stories and
we stand a little taller and we dream a little bigger

Old runners

Young runners

White, black and brown runners

Long legged runners and very tiny runners

Injured runners flanked by volunteers and

Kept going by our cheers

Every cell in runners’ bodies
screaming for this to end

Runners wide eyed in disbelief that they made it to the end

Runners with the genes to run

Runners wearing jeans for fun

Runners sprinting to finish

Runners whimpering to finish

Runners clutching hamstrings in spasm looking up at the sky for some kind of reprieve, a pain-free chasm

Runners pushing for glory

Racing past, they make their story

Runners screaming through in memory of the one they miss the most

Runners walking in acceptance, their faces pale like ghosts

Runners high fiving us

Runners who don’t have all their legs

Yet still they run.

Think about that for a moment.

Runners’ mums crying with a mixture of worry and pride

One mum runs at her side

Runners looking out for loved ones in crowds

While others runners head down miss their loved ones go wild

I drink it all in.

Kind hands wait at the finish line

As runners finally get to stop and
hands on thighs rasp and gasp themselves through the shock

Crowds roar the almost fallen, up from their near Finish collapse

Runners lifted by our goodwill
We are rooting for you
You can do it

Come on so close
Yes you can

Humans can be so kind

Delirious runners stagger disoriented over the finish line

And they try to collapse

Their relief that it is over, sags their shoulders and sometimes
it makes me want to weep

Runners compassionately yet firmly are moved on to safer areas, as more and more runners pile through behind them under that 10-foot-high FINISH

They reach for their medals as they weakly walk past

Shiny cloaks shield these superheroes while they stagger sideways towards the beach

Pain is a precarious thing
It brings us to our knees

But there is something in the joy this united purpose brings

When it uncovers something real.”

Written by Didi Craze