This past Saturday I ran the first race that I’ve ever not ‘raced’. I wasn’t worried about my time at all. Instead, I was fundraising for Arthritis Foundation, and enjoying a great Saturday morning with my friend Sheryl.
I picked her up at 8:00am at her place, and we had what is almost a stereotypical experience. I asked where the venue was, she told me, but said “It’s weird, the front page said 8:30am, not 9:00am for race start…” So we headed out, not knowing if we’d end up rushing in to the start line and catching up from the back.
Luckily when we arrived at 8:20, there was no evidence of the race being imminent, so we were able to get our timing tags on, and I was able to pin on my wearable xmas lights. Yes, that’s right, since I raised $325 for Arthritis Foundation, I bought some battery powered xmas lights and ran the whole race decked out like a sparsely decorated tree.
The photograph doesn’t do the lights justice, but it was pretty amazing.
We lined up near the back, because Sheryl & Diana are still working their way up to a full-running 5k with that very popular couch-to-5k plan. Unfortunately, Diana’s bluetooth headset chirped its last before we got to mile 2, so our breaks became a little bit more random, as the ladies were alternating between that sweet race day adrenaline that makes you want to run extra, and the pain of pushing themselves. That pain is what running is all about! Great job, Diana & Sheryl!
We got near the end, and Diana tragically started lying to poor Sheryl about how much distance we had left. See, we hadn’t crossed the 3 mile line yet, and Diana started saying things like “It’s just a few hundred feet from this corner!” and “the finish is right up there”!
Then when I started reporting the real distance from my Garmin, and getting nasty looks! I’m sorry, Sheryl! But you finished, and with 5 more weeks of C25k, you’ll be running strong the whole way in no time.
The race was well organized with a great, enthusiastic finishing line crowd, and a fun raffle/awards ceremony in the movie theater afterward. My favorite form of comedy was the raffle announcements where we all had tickets from the same spool, so the first 3 of 6 numbers were always the same. Still, people got really excited every time he called out those three numbers, with an audible noise of anticipation through the room. Then you’d hear 200, then 99, then 9 people groan in outrage and agony as they were eliminated as the called the next 3 digits in slow progression. Somehow, this reaction never got old to the MC, and he started drawing out the calls longer and longer.
I had a great time going out and doing a run for the purpose of sharing the day with my friends and helping out a good cause, and can easily see myself doing some more things like this in the future.