Running side by side above is Zachariah and his best friend, Martin Mahaluf. Martin and Zachariah have run together on the Strom Track Club and with Valley United for USATF Junior Olympics, but they attend different high schools. We’ve also traveled with Martin and his family to Chile. These two have a connection any of us would be delighted to have with another human. It’s real and deep.
This week Saugus visited West Ranch and it was their first time running against each other in a high school meet. You’d think that would spur some crazy competitive juices, but that wasn’t the case. Zachariah was coming off of an injury and only planned on running at 80% to test the waters. Martin had obviously decided to just enjoy the moment with his best friend.
I learned after the race that they were talking down the stretch toward the 200M mark so much that another runner told them to shut up and then as they passed the 300M mark, Martin yelled at Zachariah, “Wait Up!” That is the moment captured from the video above. And that was also the moment I knew that this race would be the most memorable of their high school careers. It would be memorable, not because of great results, at least not in track terms. Zachariah ran slower than he had run in over three years. He didn’t care one bit. It would be memorable because of that moment, and the smile it brought to my son’s face over the final 80 meters.
I only wish the mask weren’t in the way. That’s one happy young man. Happy to be doing what he loves, with his best friend. Life doesn’t get better than that.