From Start to Finish

before.jpgHappy 4th! I ran my first 5k this morning at the 11th Annual Rotary Club 4th of July 5K Run in Kernersville, NC.  To the left you'll see me, R. and M. before the race.  My time was 28:57 which translates into a 9 minute 20 second mile. I finished 9th in my age division (Women 35-39). That sounds impressive until I tell you there were only 15 women in my division! The winner in my age group had a time of 20:50, which averages out to a 6 minute 43 second mile. You betcha.

 I had a lot of fun but it was harder than I would have thought. When I jog around town, I probably trot at about a 10-minute mile. So the pace was a good bit faster here.  Even so, I was s-l-o-w compared to the people who were running to win. The serious racers were jogging warm-up miles before the race actually started. The course was set up so you ran 1/2 way, turned around and ran back the way you came. I wasn't even to the halfway point when the lead runners passed me on their way to the finish. These people were moving.The overall winner was a 19-year old boy with a time of 19 minutes, or a 6:08 mile.

1stplace.jpgM. won her age division for women. We whooped it up when her name was announced. 

The best part was that starting out, there was a dad behind me pushing a running stroller with two 3-year-olds in it.  You'd think I'd stand a chance, right? Ha. I ate his dust. Didn't even see him after about the first 4 minutes. He smoked me and most of the people around us.

Then there was the 74 year-old woman who just beat me across the finish line. I found out later that she's like a national champion or something in her age group so I was slightly mollified but still...74.  

But I definitely have the bug now.  grrr.jpgThere was something intoxicating bout feeling a part of this group of people stretching and milling about with our numbers pinned to our shirts. We were competing, yes, but there was a bond there was well. We were all there for the same reason. We all tread the same ground--some faster than others, but the same ground nonetheless. It was like being part of a brotherhood. I felt like I had been let into the ranks of a privileged group.

I can't wait for the next race. mine.jpg