This past weekend I was in Minnesota to celebrate my adorable nephew’s first birthday. While I was there, I also talked my sister into running a 5K with me, which happened to be right down the street from her house. I thought it would be fun to not only cross a new race state off my list, but to also run with E in his very first race.
The race we ran was the Challenge Aging 5K in St. Paul, which was designed to celebrate athletes who fight against aging by living a fit and healthy lifestyle. Bib numbers were given out in reverse age order, so that the oldest person running was #1, therefore honoring the oldest athletes as elite runners.
I had an inkling that the race would be a small one when I received a personal email, not automated, reminding me of my race-day information, and telling me to show up a few minutes early to pick up my shirt and bib number.
As it turns out, there were only about 60 runners, and I almost missed the starting line, because it was just a line drawn in chalk on the path with a little sign that said “start”.
I had agonized for days over whether to stick with my sister and nephew for his first race, (and my sister’s second), or if I should shoot for a PR and maybe even try to win my age group, since I know if I ever do it, it would have to be in a tiny race like this. I had pretty much settled on the fact that I would have other chances to PR but not another chance to experience my nephew’s first race.
But that morning I was feeling good, and I think my sister was afraid of holding me back, so she told me to go ahead without her. I felt bad for a bit, but I knew she was right – we’d only both end up getting frustrated – so off I went.
The race was two laps around Lake Como, and after the first lap I was feeling good. The cooler air usually really bothers my lungs, but it wasn’t too bad, despite the occasional cough. And since the race was so small, I couldn’t really see anyone in front of me or behind me for most of the race. It just felt like a beautiful morning training run.
I made it to the finish line in under 29 minutes, which is a personal best for me. (The race wasn’t chip timed, so my “official” time was 28:56, but my watch had me at under 28:50). And then I got to watch my nephew and sister cross the finish line a short time later.
Later that night I got another individual email with my results. And although it was a very small race, so I kinda feel like it’s cheating a little, I am very proud of the outcome.
Overall, it was a great time running a small race in a new state, and sharing the experience with my sister and nephew. I hope to get to run more races with them soon!