This one will go down as one of my all-time most memorable races. As you may know, I’ve been enjoying my new camera, taking pictures of the races to share in my blog. I figure a picture being worth a thousand words and all that, it’s nice to give people something to look at besides a barrage of words. If they were at the race they might get a picture of themselves, and if they were not at the race, they get some pictures of what they missed. So you get it, I like pictures.
On this particular day though, the photography bug got the best of me. The women’s race began at 7:30 a.m., thirty minutes before the men’s race. That would allow me enough time to go to the finishing line, which was maybe 200 yards away from the starting line and take photos of some of the women as they finished, then get to the starting line in plenty of time for the men’s race. For some reason I lost track of the time, and when I looked up and saw that the finishing clock was past 30 minutes, I thought about the men’s race. Uh-oh. I took off running up the hill, and when I got to the top of the hill I saw that the race had already begun and the back of the pack was about halfway up the hill past the starting line. I thought about not running the race at all because of the late start, but as I took off towards the starting line, I thought I might as well go for it and see what happened. I figured I’d run the race and if it took 30 or 35 minutes at least I would finish. So I spent the better part of the next 30 minutes trying to make up some time. No doubt I passed more people than I ever had before, and in the third mile I started seeing some familiar people who I’ve been pretty close to in past races so I started feeling like I was getting somewhere. I was happy to see on the clock at the finish line my time was 23:38, just a couple minutes slower than my PR. The results that were posted afterwards showed me in 4th place, but since the 1st place runner in my age group won a spot in the Grand Masters awards, it nudged me up to 3rd place, which I didn’t know until I saw the results online.
Win or lose though, it’s just a lot of fun to be out there running and I hope I can keep it up for 20 or 30 more years. It was a year ago this coming week (June 25th) that Linda and I joined WeightWatchers. Both of us were overweight and out of shape. Today was my 40th race and Linda’s 30th race, and we didn’t start running until we had been in WW for a couple months. At that time just the thought of running 3.1 miles was almost unimaginable for both of us; now it’s something we both look forward to every weekend.