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Unit One Materials

Marathon Runner

Pat Tillman
Marathon Runner
Don't Quit Poem
Walking the Road to Success
Pacific Islanders and the Americans

ACTIVITY 3: How to Finish Well
Quality #3: Perseverance

During the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, the last runner to finish in the marathon was an athlete from Tanzania.  He’d had a difficult race, to say the least: he’d stumbled at one point and ended up bruised, bloodied - and with a broken leg!  But he didn’t quit.


Even though everyone else had already finished the race and gone home, he kept at it.  Finally, at 7:00 in the evening, he straggled into the near-empty stadium.  There were still about 7,000 people on hand to witness his finish, and all 7,000 stood, giving this battered athlete a standing ovation as he finished his last lap.


When this dedicated marathoner was asked, “Why didn’t you quit?” - he simply said, “My country did not send me half way around the world to start the race; they sent me to finish it.”