First race of the entire year 2007 for me and it turned out very well, despite a lot of things.
The Race for the Cure is a huge deal here in NC. This year there were actually about 5 or six events going on at similar times. Over 20,000 people participated.
They had a one mile run for kids, a one mile “survivors lap”, a competitive 5K, a Women’s only 5K, and an Open 5K.
The competitive race was chip timed, and more expensive, so knowing I was not going to set any records, I went with the Open 5K. This was a large mistake, as the competitive race began at 7:15, when the temperature was about 70 and it was overcast. The womens only was at 0800 when it was about 78 and still a little cloudy. The open was at 9:15 when it was a steamy 85-90 degrees and the sun was peeping through the clouds. And there I was in my black running tights.
I was absoloutely overwhelmed by the sheer size of this event!!!! I had never run in anything that huge. I parked at the loval stadium and was bussed over to the race site. There I waited around for about a half an hour. I followed Julio’s advice and started in the front. I never start in the front. As it turned out there were also some odd people, walkers, who decided to start in the front. I never quite get that. Several were standing there with a variety of goodie bags and talking about their walking intentions. I asked a few if they wouldn’t mind moving back so the runners could have a decent start, but I got “the look” I probably deserved the look, it’s a non-competitive race and the focus is on Breast Cancer, not running.
I got to check out all the team t shirts, and some of them were really amusing. I’m glad we’ve come far enough to be able to poke fun at serious things. There was “team booble” (Workers from Google), “team boobular”, “The Boob squad” , “Hugs for Jugs” and more. Some were more sentimental, with pictures of a special person who lost their fight with cancer stencilled in. SInce I know no one personally who has been affected by Breast Cancer, it was pretty astounding to me how many people have been, and the race really showed it, so many people were there, from all different backgrounds. While we were waiting the start the womens race came in and we all cheered really lound for a muslim runner who did the entire race in a full hijab. Wow, and on such a hot day. She was grinning from ear to ear.
While standing and waiting I got some good tips from one of the Carolina Godvia Track Club volunteer coaches, who had run the course. I think this helped me quite a bit. If I weren’t leaving, I would love to have participated in their program.
And then we all counted down to the start and off we went. it was a mild downhill at the start which was a little surprising. I was weaving and bobbing for the first mile. There were walkers, a gal on roller skates, and several people who sprinted out and couldn’t maintain the pace. I had to avoid these people. I wanted to pace off of the Godiva Track guy, but after about a quarter of a mile he passed me saying, “Have fun” and disappeared.
People it was hot hot hot. I was really sweating, and thinking about the looming 3 miles ahead of me through the first mile. I was very worried about the heat.
At mile one I saw the clock and it was 10:25, which is very very fast for me. So I was pleased with that. I kept running, but eventually I had to stop and walk for a bit. I then started to run again. Between mile 1-2 there was a half way mark at about 1.55 miles where a time clock said 16:00 min, which shows how much I must have walked.
I then began running along again, and the neighbourhood really woke up. People had set up their sprinkler systems right on the race course so we could run under them. This was sooooo helpful! It was cooling and energizing.
Mile two came around and there was a church, complete with the choir out there singing “we are family” at the top of their lungs. I tried to be sure to smile at all the singers, who i am sure were also feeling the heat. I think there probably was a time clock at mile 2, but I can not recall it.
Then came the absoloute best, someone had set up industrial fans and put their hose behind it, creating a very fine, very cold mist. I wanted to stand in it, but of course, it was a “race” so I kept moving.
After that, I came across the house that I give the vote for the best encouragement ever. This couple had a sound system blasting out KC and the Sunshine band’s “Boogie shoes” They got several thumbs up, including one from me. The rhythm was perfect for my pace, and it was on a hill, so it helped me make it to the top with a smile on my face.
At this point I was really hot, sweaty and wet from the variety of supersoakers I had experienced.
At I got to 2.6 miles a man was in front of his house, again with the industrial strength fans and water telling peopel to please run on his lawn, and shouting “You are almost almost there” which was really somehow at the time cute and entertaining.
at 2.8 miles they started telling us….”just 0.2 to go” As I jogged by though I heard the most interesting thing…
There was a squad of cheerleaders, and I heard their adult leader saying, “OK girls in a few more minutes the “big group” will be coming, so I want you ready to really do your cheer…” I was actually ahead of “the pack!”
I then kept jogging along for the whole way I was thrilled to see the finish line.
My total finish time surprised me by being faster than usual. I came in at 34.45 this is slow for a lot of people, but for me it was pretty darn good. Especially considering the heat and the large crowd.
I celebrated by calling my Dad of course, and getting a Subway sandwich. 🙂 I can’t wait for next week’s event I’ll be wearing my boogie shoes for sure, flatter, smaller and earlier in the morning! Maybe a new PR.
I’m also proud as a Peacock to tell I raised 320.00 dollars for the event. This is mostly thanks to my 43things posse, my parents and my good dear friend Rob. This money will be used in NC, mostly to help poor women to obtian proper screening and treatment.