Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Man, What A Race!

I ran in the Go Northside 5K this past weekend. The picture here is of me and some of my race day fans - my wife, Kimpa and son, Alexey. It was the first time I have run in a "race" since high school. I was a pretty good runner in high school and have some great memories of races and friends from those times. Even so - the 5K I ran in this weekend has moved to the top of the list of my running experiences. Here's a few glimpses of the day.
Track and Weather - perfect! 68 degrees and breezy. The course was pretty flat with the exception of a nice downhill section with the wind during the second mile. It was also well marked and easy to follow. (Not that I had to ever worry about being in front - I had plenty of people to follow!)
People - all ages and stages. Serious to casual. The common factor - was friendliness. This was truly a "neighborhood" race. The course had many people standing in front of their homes cheering and shaking noise makers. There was a drum/dance line that played before and during the race. Good dogs/burgers provided afterwards. The race had a very cool vibe.
The run - I had set a goal of running at a 7 min/mile pace and I finished the 3.1 miles (I really have never converted to metric!) in 20:50.
Friends - I ran with two good friends - Lois and her son, Peter. Peter is 10 years old. He has run lots of races and even a mini/kids triathlon. I asked him before the race for advice. "Pace yourself and breathe." Good advice. He had set the goal of running around 28 minutes and just not stopping. He ran the course in 24:30 or so. Seriously. He won the "most amazing performance" award in my book.
Friends - part 2. My good friend Mitch (Lois' husband) came along to cheer for us all. He and Kimpa kept showing up along the course cheering. It was awesome.
Best moment - after the race I was walking with Alexey and Kimpa. Suddenly, Alexey was hugging me saying "good job, Dad." I can't put into words what that meant to me for a lot of reasons. I am going to have to write a separate post just on that moment. That made the whole day move into the incredible zone for me.
Yep - a good day. I can't wait for next year's race!

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