I wasn’t as active in this spring’s STEM program as I would have liked (due to work commitments) but as I did last year, I decided to help the STEM runners and registered for this race.
There were a few races scheduled for this weekend (plus boating) that I would have liked to do but as soon as I arrived at the race, I knew that I had made the right decision.
Running is not all about PRs and finish times. Sometimes you have to give back especially since running has given me so much.
Last year, we didn’t actually participate in the race. We ran along side our runner but never crossed the finish line.
This year, however, we did register and pay for the race. We would be running it in order to help a STEM participant achieve their goal.
Because I wasn’t planning to “race” the race, I ran 8 miles the day before.
I was glad too because race day was even hotter and more humid (and the race didn’t start until 10 am!!)
I arrived early to pick up my packet and meet up with all the other volunteers and runners. What is awesome is that in addition to the new STEM runners, many of the old ones continue to return for races. It’s a STEM reunion too.
I also ran this race in 2009. I am a sucker for “causes.” And this is just as important or maybe more important than a medical one.
It started out 10 years ago as a race for “Liza” who had been killed by her abusive husband but it is now also dedicated to Nikki who suffered the same fate.
The race is very well organized and offers lots of raffle prizes and even…
Eventually we went outside to take some group photos and then to pair up with a STEM runner. In my particular group, most of the STEM participants had dropped out and we had more volunteers than runners.
I got paired with our one ‘male” participant, Mike, who usually does his own thing in trainings (instead of Couch to 5k). He said that he wanted to finish under 30 minutes. I told him that I was there for him if he needed help.
Soon we moved to the start line and got ready to begin.
As I mentioned, I was not planning to run fast. And Mike just took off. Well, it was hot so I just ran my own pace, stopped to tie my shoes and walked at all the water stops. Luckily on this hot day, there were many (maybe 5 or 6).
The course starts out flat on a country road but when we turn left, there are rolling hills (2 steepish ones). I didn’t wear my Garmin (because I wasn’t going to be racing) but I did my best to run slowly up the hills. Everyone was sweating…even me.
What I love about this out and back course is that you get to see all the slower runners. And in this case, all the purple shirts. I high-fived them and screamed encouragement as I ran by.
Eventually, I caught up to Mike, he was walking. He said he had a side cramp. I walked with him and encouraged him to get some water and start running again.
And he did. I ran ahead so I could cheer him through the finish line.
Yes, he did cross under 30 minutes!! We were both happy.
I remained at the finish line to watch all the other happy faces cross and get their medals.
Then I took my sweaty body to my car so I could sneak out. I didn’t even stay around for the awards. My hubby was waiting for me at the lake but I felt happier (for these runners) than if I had run a PR. (There will be more times to run a fast 5k.)
Since it is Thursday, I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.
Happy Running! Ever run a race for someone else besides yourself?