Picture this…. The finish line is in sight. Your legs are turning over as fast you are can possibly make them. The taste of victory is on the tip of your tongue. You can picture yourself raising the trophy. You almost have it, but then a babe of a runner snatches it right out of your grasp at the very last second.
Well, technically, babe isn’t a quite accurate description of him. He was 16 years old. But when the guy, namely me, is nearly 52 years old, babe somehow does seem appropriate.
And, no, if you are setting thinking that I was celebrating over the last few yards to the finish. I wasn’t. I see far too many runners fail in this regard for me to even consider doing it.
This past weekend, I headed over to the university area to run the Run Run Rudolph 5k race. After nearly a month of looking at my racing flats setting in the corner, I finally decided it was time to do something about it. Thus, my entry into the Run Run Rudolph 5k.
My race started with me dragging myself up the hill and out of the business park on to Mallard Creek Prosperity Church Road. By the mile, I moved in to 3rd place. Going back down in to the business park at the next entrance, I got by the 2nd place runner.
The leader looked strong, while I was catching the other runners, he showed no sign of coming back or so it appeared.
At mile 2 mile, second place looked about where I was destined to finish. Then, as if by holiday magic, I reeled him in the next quarter mile.
We were side by side heading up Governor Hunt hill. Ugh, this hill is clearly in the wrong place in this race. My legs were crying for relief. Perhaps, his were crying as well. I made the U-turn first and well aware the rest of the course was downhill and flat.
I rounded the last turn and threw my last ounce of energy in to my legs. Only to be sweep aside as if by Santa’s sleigh passing me at full speed.
I may have lost the race but the thrill of racing was worth it.
Don’t misunderstand me here. Winning a race is always nice, but racing or better yet, the experience of challenging one’s self against another is the gratifying part for me. I’ll take being pushed or pulled along during race anytime. It brings out my best.
After the race, I jogged in place for a couple minutes until Chad came through. Then, I paced him through the 2nd loop of the 10k course. He went on to negative split the 2nd 5k and finish 3rd overall. Congrats on a fantastic effort.