Saturday Salutations: Running on Kindness

It was mile 65 of the Devilman Triathlon. My wet hair was strung with seaweed. I had several layers of mud and grime on my face, arms and legs. I was sick from running on too many caffeinated gels, and slugging through the final miles of the run. The only time I have looked and felt worse, was childbirth.

A man began to pass and then slowed down to match my pace.

He smiled, “You look fantastic!”

“Yeah, right,” I shot him a grimaced look.

“There is nothing more beautiful than a woman with determination. You’ve got this.”

And then he ran on.

As did I but this time with a bit more energy in my stride. I finished the back half of that run at a substantially faster pace.

The right words— timed well, can make all the difference. I will never forget that race, and I will always remember the impact of that stranger.

Who do you know at mile 65?

Posted in Communication and tagged , , , , , , , .

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt, Founder of Let’s Grow Leaders, helps leaders around the world achieve breakthrough results, without losing their soul. A former Verizon Wireless executive, she has over two decades of experience in sales, customer service, and HR. She was recently named on Inc's list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers and American Management Association's 50 Leaders to Watch. She’s the author of 3 books: Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul, Overcoming an Imperfect Boss, and Glowstone Peak.


  1. Triathlon! Wow, impressive.

    I laughed while reading this post. I remember the first time I ran a 10 mile race. I was at about the 7 mile mark running straight up hill to the water tower here in Syracuse, NY. Person yelled “You look great!” I said something like “I feel like crap!” ;-p

    Sometimes all the leader has to say is “How’s it going?” Just knowing your leader “cares” goes miles with your constituent.

    p.s. Maybe I’ll train for a half marathon.

  2. First wow. Mile 65. Second thanks for reminding me of the people who have helped me at my mile 65, of how much support I can give with such small efforts, and of how beautiful we all are, especially when we’re giving something our all.

  3. Karin,

    While I work out at lot, I’ve never considered myself to be a runner. But ten years ago I decided to run the Chicago marathon.

    Around mile 22-23, it was really tough. Every mile seemed like several miles. A guy ran beside me who had a metal leg from one of his knees down. He really inspired me! I thought if he can continue, then so can I.

    I’m at mile 65 right now with something in my life and I’m very appreciative of all of the encouragement that I get.

    I think it helps to just acknowledge that the person is at mile 65 and then offer words of encouragement to help them keep moving forward.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.