|Lamar in back, Jake and Willy in front.|
This Is The Place Race 5K, about 1984.
I won the first distance race I entered. Or at least I won my age group in the "This Is The Place Race 5K" in about 1984. I was around 9 years old and entered it with my Dad and my younger brother, and there are only a few things that I remember about the race: I remember we threw on our short shorts and striped tube socks. I remember my Dad running with my younger brother and telling me to run ahead, as fast as I wanted. I remember hitting "THE WALL" (or what I thought was the wall, which for me as a 9 year old in a 5K is about mile 2.2) and crying... thinking I might be lost on a dirt section of the course in which I couldn't see any other runners ahead or behind me. I remember pushing through that wall until I could see the finish line, when another kid my age caught me in the last 100 yards, but I outkicked him to win my age division by .5 seconds.
|Terrace Days 5K, short shorts were definitely in.|
I do remember how cool that medal was, how good the cookies we had after the race tasted, and how much fun I had with my Dad and brother. It was the one and only photo finish of my racing career (I think I won a few distance races later, but nothing like that first 5K.)
|On your marks...get set....|
When it came down to it, Sam let me out-kick him to the finish line, just like my 9 year old self did back in the day. I broke through the finish line tape to cheers and claps and an incredible party in my honor with friends and family (And if anyone is in need of a good pick-me up or confidence builder, I highly recommend rigging a race with a party at the finish line for yourself! You will smile about it forever!)
I don't think anyone at the party cared that I won! In fact, other than that first 9 year old race, I really don't think I've cared what place I've taken in most races. It doesn't really matter. It may be different if I was competing for real, or if I had the discipline to train and compete in that way. What it comes down to is pretty simple. I love to run. I love the mountains and trails and roads I get to run on. I love to challenge myself, the little accomplishments that happen when you just show up. I adore the people I get to meet and run with, and seeing the amazing things they do only inspires me to work towards different goals and milestones, to climb the mountains in my path (both figuratively and literally).
Do I hope to win another race someday? Sure. But in the end, I'm really just racing myself.
|40th Birthday 40K. See you at 50.|