It was pretty cold so I decided against wearing a tank top. Instead, I wore my "Support your local bike shop" shirt, since the race was a fundraiser for designing bikes for disabled children. After a half mile warm up run, we were ready to go! After a countdown, we were off! Demetrius and I stayed together for about a quarter of a mile and then he was gone! For the first time in a LONG time, I ran with music. I knew that he would run ahead since he is faster than me and was chasing a time goal and I wanted something to pace me, so I ran with my girl, Beyonce!
At mile two, a man was right on my heels and I started to wonder if he was pacing off me. He eventually passed me but then I was right on his heels. I made the commitment to stay right behind him for at least a mile. After that mile, I was feeling a little gassed, but I was thankful for the mile he helped me with. I walked through the water stop (bathroom size cups!) and then just let him go. I wondered if at any point I would catch up with Demetrius, but I figured that he was way ahead of me at that point.
As I continued to run, I realized that the course was going to be much longer than a 5k. In fact, the course was about a quarter of a mile too long. Of course, everyone ran the same course with the same conditions, but when you're aiming for a specific time goal as both Demetrius and I were, it throws you off your game a little bit when you realize that your race is longer than it should be. I came around a corner with just under a half mile to go and I could see Demetrius up in the distance. I hoped that he was doing okay and wondered if he was near his time goal. I walked for a moment and then got right back to work on my own race.
After crossing the finish line, I found Demetrius and we checked the results screen and realized that I had finished 2nd in my age group. There were so many men in the race that it was hard to see where Demetrius placed since the screen was scrolling quickly. When it was time for announcements. it was confirmed that I placed 2nd, and Demetrius placed 3rd in our age groups! It was exciting to see him get a medal for all his hard work. Running is great, but it's even more fun when you can walk away from a race with some hardware AND a giftcard to a local sports store! After that, we of course went to Starbucks where I celebrated with a peppermint mocha, in a controversial green cup!
Once I got home, I showered and packed my bags and then hit the road for Raleigh. In the morning I will be running in the City of Oaks Half Marathon. I love how running has changed my life for the better. I love even more how it has introduced me to so many people.