As you head into your last week before the NYC Half, do yourself a favor and watch the You Tube of Olympian Billy Mills winning the 1964 Olympic Games 10K. (billy mills 10000 meter gold medal final). It will have you up on your feet cheering for this underdog.
At the Olympics, he was a nobody. Ron Clarke of Australia was picked to win. As you watch the footage of the race, he is barely mentioned until the last lap when he flies past everyone, just like an eagle. As Mills recalls, he had just lapped a West German runner, and as he passes he sees an eagle on the German’s jersey and his father’s words popped into his head. “I lengthened my stride and thought, ‘I have to go now. It’s now or never,’ ” Mills states. He passed the two leaders and broke the tape to win a gold medal and become the first American to win the 10K, setting a world record of 28:24.4. To this day, Mills is the only American to win gold in the Olympic 10K.
Mills is a strong believer in the power of words and visualization. “The subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between reality and imagination,” he said. “What you conceive and believe, you can achieve.” Think of his words as you run your race next Sunday and soar like an eagle!
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg