Before the start of the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Marathon 2005 I meet an older Asian gentleman who seems unusually cheerful and relaxed, an attitude in stark contrast to my chronic pre-race nervousness. He carries a digital camera, so I volunteer to take photos of him with it. At the 10-mile point our paths intersect and I snap a few more pictures for him; at mile 15 he enters the aid station just as I'm leaving.

After the race I discover his identity: Hajime Nishi, self-described "Ecomarathoner". We correspond and he tells me that on 6 March 2005, the day after the Seneca Creek event, he ran the Lower Potomac River Marathon in another part of Maryland. The next day he returned to Tokyo, from which he planned to travel to Bangkok for his 382nd marathon. On Mr. Nishi's http://ecomarathon.org/ site I discover a splendid statement of purpose:

I'm not running marathons to win, but to enjoy the connectedness with nature and people.

... yet another reason to go long and slow and happy! Also delightful is the valediction with which Mr. Nishi ends his letter to me:

I hope our paths will cross again.

Deep bow,

(quote from an interview in the Pensacola News Journal dated 23 Feb 2002; cf. LightMind (22 Aug 2002), SlowerRunnersGuide (30 Oct 2002), YoursTruly (30 Aug 2004), Eric Clifton (1 Oct 2004),TaoistState (12 Nov 2004), PaulReese (17 Feb 2005), CelebrationOfLife (27 Mar 2005), ...)

TopicProfiles - TopicRunning - TopicPersonalHistory - 2005-07-17

(correlates: WindToThyWings, CelebrationOfLife, PoeticLines, ...)