What A Difference 3.1 Miles Makes

by altardy on September 15, 2009

You may see 2 pictures with the same people in them (plus Tom in the beer version). And, the pictures were taken only about an hour apart. But the emotions inside of us all, from one picture to the other, were like night and day. In the non-beer photo you have Stephanie, Becky and Marian (l-r). They had met Michelle and myself just met minutes before the picture. Becky and I have both run many races but the other 3 ladies were there for their FIRST EVER road race. They arrived with all the butterflies, all the “what am I doing here’s”, all the “everyone else has to be to be a top runner”, the ultimate “I JUST DON’T WANT TO COME IN LAST”, all the voices and tensions of not knowing what the world of road races was like. But the best thing that could have happened for them was–each other. Nothing Becky and I could have said to the newbies would have meant as much as hearing each other talk about their panic, doubts but also hopes. As we were called to the starting area I’m sure the anxiety rose in all of them. Then BANG (actually Bleeeeep, as an air horn was used instead of a starter’s pistol) and we were off. Michelle and I decided to run together and the others did their thing separately. I’m sure everyone ran their race but for me I was running “our” race. I have never to my knowledge pushed Michelle to run, never mind run with me in a road race. So while she was running and we were talking, I was basking in a little bit of heaven running side by side with my daughter for the first time, and in a race of all things. What was sssooo cool is that each of us upon finishing walked back looking for and encouraging each of our little group that was still finishing. AND AN HOUR BEFORE WE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW EACH OTHER. THIS IS TRULY WHAT YOU THAT HAVE NEVER DONE ONE OF THESE “RACE” THINGS ARE MISSING. It’s not win or lose for most of us. It’s do your personal best (whatever that may be that day) and enjoy those around you. One of the great things about the Canal Diggers race is the great post race atmosphere that the organizers provide. It makes a complete and fun day for all. As you can tell by the 2nd photo all’s well and new friendships have been started. As a matter of fact, all eyes are on Becky to figure out the plan to put us all back together running, not only at another race, but somewhere on my route next year. So the toast you see is not only to each other but to you hoping you will meet us somewhere and run with us. We’ll leave a pair of running shoes ready for you to lace up and run with us. “THANK YOU” ladies for helping make my daughter’s and my first race together such a great time.

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