High School Achievement Essay

On Monday, Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya won the 115th Boston Marathon — and in so doing, ran the fastest marathon ever. Meanwhile, Desiree Davila set a course record for American female runners. What do you think it takes for runners to excel at this grueling, 26.2-mile event? How much preparation do you think it takes? What about sacrifice? What in your own life — athletically or otherwise — have you worked hard to achieve?

In “In the Boston Marathon, Speed Must Contend With Hills and the Weather,” The Associated Press reports:

Boston has always been considered a challenging course, a reputation that feeds on itself by discouraging those interested in fast times from entering. Those who do run Boston hear the legends of near winners who slowed to a crawl in the Newton hills and dropped back to the pack, or out of the race entirely.

… If runners start slow over the first few miles, waiting to see who breaks from the pack first, by the time they make their move it might already be too late for a fast time. And if they break too early and can’t keep up the pace, their assault on the clock will have backfired.

And that, the four-time Boston winner Bill Rodgers said, is why the records should not matter at all to the runners.

“Time isn’t the ultimate parameter,” he said. “The ultimate parameter is victory. And that’s how it’s always been.”

Students: Tell us about your own hard-won victories — in sports, school, your personal life or anywhere else. What did you achieve? How did you do prepare? What did your success mean to you at the time — and what does it mean to you now? What advice you do have for people who want to follow in your footsteps, but who are just starting to work toward that goal?


Students 13 and older are invited to comment below. Please use only your first name. For privacy policy reasons, we will not publish student comments that include a last name.

Teachers: Our lesson “Good Sport: Creating Handbooks About Athletics.”

Questions about issues in the news for students 13 and older.

Какой тип? - Беккер хмуро взглянул на полицейского. - Тот, что вызвал «скорую». Он болтал что-то на ужаснейшем испанском, который мне только доводилось слышать.

- Он сказал, что на руке у мистера Танкадо было кольцо. Офицер кивнул, достал из пачки «Дукадо» сигарету, посмотрел на плакат с надписью «No fumar» - «Не курить» - и все же закурил.

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