The Other Side of the Finish Line

Today, my friend and I (plus about 27 incredible volunteers) put on a road race for 256 people. We had about 176 in the 5K and the rest in a one-mile fun run. Actually many people ran both.

Seeing the finish line from the other side gave me a lot of insight into my own running, especially since I'm usually finishing near the back of the pack. The looks on the faces of the first finishers, the competitive runners, really made me evaluate how I race (or lack thereof). They looked tense, strained, red-faced or pale, PAINED EVEN. You could see how much they wanted it. My husband commented later that I never look like that when I cross the finish line. They even looked serious at the start, where I'm usually goofing around, chatting and laughing.

I guess I'm more of a social runner than a serious one. Serious runners don't chat in 5K's. Apparently if you can chat, you're not really at race pace. Serious runners push themselves to the limit, leaving nothing out there. They're the ones who throw up at the finish line or at least feel like they might. I've felt like that once back when I had that running coach for 8 weeks--- he pushed me in a training run one day to the point I really thought I was going to lose my cookies. And that was the first time I had a sub-30 minute 5K---29:59.

Anyway, I saw all the work that goes into planning a racing event---hours and hours and hours of taking care of minute details. At the next race, I'll appreciate all that behind-the-scenes work.

I didn't get to run the 5K today. Too busy. I ran the One Mile Fun Run with my daughter Annabeth, who finished with a 12-minute mile. Pretty impressive for a 5-year-old! There was a 5-year-old named Faith she was determined to beat. Faith stayed with us until the half-way point, then Annabeth lost her just after the turn around. She finished strong and purple-faced. She said, "Mommy, I think I might vomit."

Oh, wait. I guess she's one of those serious runners!

I came home and got my race on, just me and my Garmin. Wouldn't you know I PR'd my private 5K with 28:53? Nothing like a little motivation.


Gee, I dunno, Runnermom ... I just read your previous post on the hilly run and you sound like a serious runner to me! Congratulations on the 5K PR. That bodes well for your next race.
RunnerMom said…
Reluctant runner, you are too kind! I've got to stop comparing myself to other runners! But I did learn a lesson at that finish line.
katieo said…
Great post. and cute that you did a fun run with your daughter!