I am getting a little nostalgic since the this is the time of year that I ran my first marathon 7 years ago – sniff, sniff. 🙂 I have a post about it coming out this week (after all, I am sure everyone remembers their first marathon quite clearly!) but it got me thinking about other first races.
So, where was your first race and what distance was it? Did you travel out of town for it or stay local? Did you run it with a friend or family member or alone? Did it make you want to run another race or quit running forever? 🙂
My First Race
My first race was a local 5K. It was part of a two-race event put on by the church I grew up at. It was a large event for our town with over 1,000 runners in the two distances. The other distance was a 10 mile race (I remember thinking at the time that I could not imagine running that far). I had only started running a couple of weeks before (the race was in October of 2006) and I was planning on running it with my younger brother.
Two days before the race, my brother and I went out to run the 3.1 miles together to see if we could do it without stopping. We had a very stiff wind that day and were only able to make it 1 mile out before we turned around and headed back. My thought after that was – what am I getting myself into??? Regardless, my brother and I decided to stick with each other the whole way even if one of us needed to stop and walk.
The morning of the race came and the weather was terrible! It was rainy, foggy, and chilly. We got out there and found a place in the pack. As I stood there, I began to get a feeling that I never get tired of and that comes before every race – the feeling of the adrenaline and excitement as it courses through my body! 🙂 It is an awesome feeling and one that you runners all know about! I was so excited and had no idea what to expect over the next 3.1 miles!
The gun went off and we went off. My only goal for the race was to finish without walking. My brother and I were pushing each other the whole time and we felt great after we passed the half-way point. Once we ran 2 miles, we were thrilled since that was as far as we had ever run non-stop!
When we were coming down the road to take the entrance into the church parking lot, we knew we would see the finish line and that would be just a short distance away. We said we would just give it all we had at that point and push it (I didn’t know at that time that it was called a finishing kick – but as you can see from the pictures, that is exactly what I had going on!).
We ended up finishing within seconds of each other (as we would go on to do in almost every race for the next several years) in a time of 24 minutes and 48 seconds. That works out to a pace of exactly 8 minutes per mile. We were very happy with that! I still remember how good I felt as I went over to the food tent and proceeded to jam two pieces of pizza and a hot dog in my mount to make up for my caloric expenditure :).
Was my first race a great experience? YES! Was I glad it was in my hometown? YES. It was really neat to be able to run on familiar roads with family waiting at the end. Running with my brother made it all the more enjoyable. Even though I have run many, many races since then, my first race will always stand out in my mind!
So, how about you? What was your first race and where was it?