In my 2011 Atlanta Track Club Resolution Run race report I neglected to point out that when I was passed by another runner he was kind enough to offer a few encouraging words. If you don't know, ATC Resolution Run takes place on January 1st. There is a 5K and 10K race. I ran the 10K. Less than a mile from the finish line I was starting to fade. The runner that passed me called out "run with me". I tried to keep up but I just didn't have it in me and he pulled away.
On Saturday I ran the ATC Spring has Sprung 15K. It was a tough race with an awesome hill that we had to climb twice. At the 5.5 mile point a volunteer called out that I was the 18th male. As I continued to run I was passed once, and than again. I was now in 20th place with a mile to go. Just then a female runner ran up along side me. Knowing the finish line was less than a mile away and seeing that she was feeling the effects of her effort, I called out to her in essence, run with me. This was my pay it forward moment! We pushed each other through to the end. In doing so I'm sure the results for both of us were improved. Shortly after my new running partner and I crossed the finish line she came back to give me a hug. I don't think she realized how much she had helped push me. We both won awards in our age groups.
So, the next time you're in a race and you pass someone (or get passed) give a word of encouragement.