My husband drove us there and we parked at the Middle School where some of my staff and friends who were running the 5K with me and the 10K would meet us. While sitting in the rig my oldest son stated that he wanted to run the kids race. He was back and forth with that decision within a 15 minute window of time. We used the bathroom in the school and locked up and headed up the road to the start of the race. I thought for sure that my oldest would have his nerves get the best of him and back out from the idea of registering for this 1 mile Kids race. I couldn't have been more proud. What a family moment.
As we all approached the park where the race began and ended we assessed our surroundings and popped into the line by last name alphabet to pick up our registration items. Mine included my running number (bib), my chip for my running time, and my racing t-shirt (the first in my collection). Then off to the kids registration table! I met my son(s) and husband there just as they were completing the paperwork. We all put on our bibs with safety pins and placed our chips on our shoes with zip ties. My oldest met a friend (runner) that he chatted it up with and planned our their attack of a course neither of them knew. We were assured by him that he wouldn't get lost and that he could do it. Okay!
The kids race was first. We found the starting line. We said our goodbyes and I took video (mama paparazzi). Oh I was super excited and a little nervous for Ty. He wanted independence and was adamant about it. My husband stationed himself with our youngest down the road to keep an eye on him. Five, Four, Three, Two, One now they were off and fast! No pacing for the kids.
I had wondered how long they would take and if the kids race would end before mine began. I wanted to see Ty finish, but I also was here to run my first 5K. The announcement came that the kids were starting their trek towards the finish. Clapping and cheers began as the first runners arrived across the finish line. I saw Ty with his father and stroller towards the end of the street and Ty was running fast. He was turning on the speed as he arrived towards the finish. It was cool to see.
Now it was my turn! Quick goodbyes, kisses and hugs and requests to cheer me on were made. The kids and my husband placed themselves just past the starting line to take some video! Oktoberfest music was blaring and we were surrounded now by what seemed like a thousand runners.
My goal: To complete the race! To run the whole thing! And to have fun!
Mission completed. My running partner and I had a game plan. We ran, we chatted, we listened to how quiet it was when we were running when all we heard were tennis shoes hitting the payment (because everyone had their iPods or other listening devices and seemed to be in the zone) and we cheered on those who were already heading back towards the town and finish. We noted the smell of hops as we passed the hops farm, fitting for O'fest. We ran, we passed people (one short term goal during the race) we felt great. It helped that it was cool and misty that morning as opposed to the 95 degree weather in which we wogged the course a few days prior.
It was neat to run in an area where you know a lot of the residents or work with many of them. They seemed to be strategically placed along the course and provided encouragement, water, and a wave or smile while we passed them on the course. Special thanks to Mrs. Crouse, Sarah, Mr. Traeger, Mr. Sowa, several students from our district and our band (who played music)!
When will it end? Well shortly. As we rounded the corner starting our last full mile the first of two 10K runners sped past us. Everyone looked around and said at the same time, "10k!" we kept on. We kept our pace and ran the last street towards the finish line. I found myself saying things like, "keep your eye on the prize", "pick it up" and remembered that once a cheerleader always a cheerleader. I was amazed that I was completing my goal, I was finishing my race! I was excited but now I was getting competitive.... What would my time be?
Surprisingly my running partner and I crossed the finish line at the same time with a time of 36:47! This was great. Our goal was to complete in 45 minutes! We were done! My son and husband snapped pictures of our finish and were there cheering us on. My son gave me a big hug and we stood to cheer on our 10K friends (who finished each 2nd place in their age group)! Whoot, whoot a successful and blessed day for us. A momentous day for me! I couldn't have been more proud of my son (fits and drama and all) and for my own accomplishment!
We are hooked. Next year we are going to run the race with our dirndls Color Vibe run in Salem in October! I hope to have my kids cheer me on that day!Can't wait to have paint thrown at us and run with my sister. I am now even thinking of trying an 8K or 10K this year. Not sure.