I’m not a runner. I wish I were. And maybe one day I will be, but for now I’m not a runner. But not being a runner didn’t keep me from participating in Shocco Springs’ inaugural Dashing Through the Springs 5k on Saturday morning.
I prefer to use the word participate rather than run because for me there was very little running involved. Entering Saturday’s event my goal was to finish it.
I achieved that goal and met some great people along the way. People who had great stories to tell about races run, injuries they’ve dealt with, rebounded from or are currently dealing with. I met others who were participating in their first race as well and their goals mirrored mine.
Runners are a great bunch. Who else decides that mornings with near-freezing temperatures are a great time to get some fresh air? And the people at Shocco put on a great race. The volunteers who stood in the cold to hold signs, hand out water and encourage the participants were fantastic.
“You’re doing good.”
“It’s all downhill from here.”
The volunteers were great, but the saying “it’s all downhill from here” was not true. They were right about hill on the first mile being the worst. That was the only point in the race where I seriously considered quitting, but the word is not one I use very much and I persevered up that dreadful hill.
During my limited training I walked/jogged on a fairly flat trail. It certainly didn’t prepare me for the uphill battle that was this race. But it turns out I wasn’t alone in that either. While there were some really serious runners out there – ones with the tricked out watches and technical tees – I also met plenty who enjoyed the exercise, but were not super competitive. One woman, who said she was in her 40’s confided in me before the awards ceremony that she really wanted to medal in her age group, but after getting to the race and seeing some of the other competitors she felt like she wouldn’t.
Medaling never really entered my mind. I’m not delusional. I’m well aware of my limitations and running is not something I do well or very much at all. So while I wasn’t very surprised to hear the woman’s name called during the awards ceremony, I was shocked to hear my own in my age group. Turns out you don’t have to be fast to bring home the hardware. As with many things, these races are a numbers game and it just so happened that not many women age 25-29 came out for the race on Saturday.
Should I participate in the second running of the Dashing Through the Springs 5k (which is already scheduled for Dec. 11, 2010) I will train more and add some hills to the workout.
And I simply won’t believe those wonderful volunteers when they tell me “it’s all downhill from here.”