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Rei Lida, the crawl for victory

Tuesday, 4th of December 2018

Sometimes it takes only 700 insane steps of courage to test your own resilience and perseverance. A teenage runner in a relay marathon in Japan was applauded for her never-say-die spirit for insisting on crawling the last 700 feet of her section of the race after falling and fracturing her right leg. Rei Lida, a university student who was competing for the Iwatani Sangyo corporate “ekiden” relay marathon team in October 21st race in Fukuoka Prefecture, tripped and fell towards the end of her 2.2-mile stretch of the 26-mile race. Footage aired on Japanese television shows the 19-year-old Ms Lida being shepherded by a race marshal as she crawled along the tarmac, leaving streaks of blood from her hands and knees on the white road markings.

The coach decided to pull the team off the race, but the judge had pondered twice on whether to stop the girl from crawling to her relay partner. When she approached the judge she had only asked “How many more meters left until my goal?” She never stopped after that. There are many ways to be an inspiration in this world. At a time when people give up after failing their trial run, Rei set an example to show that giving up is not an option and that winning the title isn't always what winning is. The footage of the race is heartbreaking as young Lida is seen bruised and crawling for dear life.

But it never stopped her from following what she wanted to do. Lida was taken to a hospital immediately after completing her section of the race and was diagnosed with a fracture of her leg that is expected to take four months to heal. Even though she failed due to unavoidable circumstances, she apologized to the team manager for her performance. Winning comes in different forms, one through experiencing failure and also through realizing your own potential and pushing past your comfort zone.

Written by Devuni Goonewardene

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