Proudly displaying my prize, which was
a medal and a gift cert for a pound of Murdick's fudge.
(Is it ironic to win candy at a road race? Just a bit.)
In all the 5 years I've done this race, this was my slowest time on the books. The heat and humidity took me down. But, we all suffered together, so it's not like I had it any worse than the rest of my fellow runners. I do this particular race every year for many reasons: it's for a great cause with all proceeds going to the MV Boys and Girls Club, it's easy for me to get to, it gets me out of the house on an otherwise typically lazy summer day, and it's a beautiful course in a part of town that I rarely visit. And while many things that I love about this event are the same each year, there happened to be a lot of firsts this time around, too:
~ it was the first time in all of my 39 years that I’ve run a race in only a sports bra. It was just that hot. Everyone was doing it. And no one cared.
~ it was the first time I've known that the weather was going to take me down BEFORE the race even started and I ran it anyway. (okay, this may have happened in the past, but, clearly, I've I blocked it out).
~ it was the first time I’ve smelled bacon cooking mid-race and really, REALLY, considered stopping.
~ it was the first time I’ve both seen AND high fived my husband during a race. That was cool.
~ it was the first time the EMTs handed out cold towels at the finish line. Bless them.
~ it was the first time I’ve eaten 3 popsicles within 2 minutes of finishing a race. Ice cold sugar coated bliss.
~ it was the first time I’ve taken water at all 3 stops in a short race, but didn't drink any and poured it over my head instead.
~ it was the first time my music has run out mid-race. That sucked.
~ it was the first time in a while that I didn’t bring my sunnies because it was overcast when I left home. Of course the sun was in full swing by race start. Lesson learned.
It was a crazy hard race, in mad challenging weather conditions and it was still a boatload of fun. Well, everything but mile three. The best part of the whole event for me happened while I was savoring my second popsicle. I looked over at the finish line and watched as a 12ish year old boy was cheering for his buddy, also 12ish, as he ran came across. As he stumbled through the chute, his friend, who clearly was beyond thrilled for him, said, "See man!!! I KNEW you could do it." His buddy was too tired to talk but he smiled and they high-fived. It was such a cool and genuine scene. Oh, and this was pretty darn cute, too.
Big brother slowed down to finish the kids fun run,
hand in hand, with his little sister.
Racing is so tough. But these kinds of things, among so many others like it, will always keep me going back for more. I'd guess it's the same for a lot runners out there. We're a crazy bunch, but we support each other and we have a lot of fun.
Listen to this:
Beware the Dog - The Griswolds