Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Run Through History 2013, Race Report

The third annual Run Through History was a resounding success.  With volunteers aplenty, blue sky abounding, sunshine ashining, and 226 smiles radiating, how could it be anything less than perfect?  The course starts and finishes at the Lower Fort Garry National Historical site and winds along the majestic banks of the north Red River.  It's a 5 or 10 kilometer  out-and-back course so the view is stunning both outbound and homebound.  The elevation is mostly flat but there's several rises just to make it interesting.

This Timex Series, MRA sanctioned event is sponsored by City Park Runners and Variety.  The funds raised for the event are funnelled to agencies to support children.  A tip of the hat goes to the planning committee with a special shout-out to Erick, Cheryl, and Wayne.  Aside from a little confusion at the start line the event proceeded without a hitch.   My good friend Aldo has a solution to correct the confusion that involves a strategically placed musket from 1867, but that's a whole other story.

There were 226 registered runners. Unfortunately a couple of school groups were unable to attend so there were 150 actual runners at this year's event.  226 registered runners is up from 125 in 2012 and 75 in 2011. Clearly this race is growing and will continue to grow.  This is a serious race for the speedy folks, but also an event for walkers and others who just want to get off the couch and enjoy life.  It was gratifying to see the number of young runners who seemed to be enjoying themselves every bit as much as the older runners.

I ran the 10 k course with a young women whose pace was slightly faster than mine but I fell into step.   Our casual chit chat fuelled us both forward.  At kilometer 9, I started to fall back.  Before fading completely I encouraged her to take the lead from the person about 40 paces ahead.  I told her that he's watching her and to creep up slowly.  She did, and then at the precise perfect moment, she soared forward at 250 meters from the finish line.  It was a beautiful site to behold.

At about the same point I started to fade and a kind fellow came up from behind and said "pick it up. it'll feel better if you go a little faster".  It was precisely what I needed to stride ahead... 250 meters to finish, seems like an eternity, heart smashing, lungs bursting, cheering, the clock read 49:56, 57, 58, 59.... damn... 50:00, 50:01...  50.02.  I so wanted to break 50 minutes.  A moment of disappointment... shake it off, learn to be slow, accept defeat gracefully, be's a good day, a damn good day to be alive.

(Update:  The official times were just official time was 50:00 minutes, not 50:02 like I thought!)  

What is there about running that makes me so happy?  My heart overflows with joy when I'm in full stride with sweat pouring from my forehead.  I feel so alive, so vibrant, so happy when I run.  It's as if all is good in the world and I am omnipotent.

My friends, it is such an awesome day to be alive, to run, to share this time with you. I am in awe of my strength, my speed, my health, my good fortune, but mostly my dear friends,  I am in awe of you.  I am blessed to have you all in my life.

It is a good day to be alive.