Picture it, RFK Stadium, or rather RFK Stadium parking lot 8A – filled with runners of all ages, backgrounds and fitness levels. Picture it, Washington D.C. in the middle of July. I had planned to write this post yesterday, but spending an hour in the D.C. heat had zapped me of energy to do little more than sleep once I got home. The race was scheduled for a 9 am start, late by DC standards. By 9 am the heat is usually pounding off the pavement, creating a shimmering reflecting pool of light – or rather – heat. Fortunately, a “cold front” had passed through and the temperature was still hovering in the high 70’s. Wouldn’t you know it, however, just as the race was about to start, it seems as though Mother Nature suddenly remembered what the temperature was supposed to be mid-July and shot upwards. I was drenched before I even heard the starting horn.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, the camaraderie amongst runners is amazing. The organizers had a wave start for the race. The “runners’ were told to move to the front of the line, the walk/runners in the middle and the walkers to the end of the line. As I stood back waiting for some real, down-home pushing and jostling D.C style, amazingly enough, there wasn’t any shoving or jockeying for place. It made me proud to be a runner (that sounds good!)
Think inspiration! I love inspirational moments and the day did not disappoint. To hear Gail from season 13 talk about running her first half-marathon at 51, then have run eleven half-marathons by the time she was 53, had me ready to race. While, I probably have no plans to run a half-marathon every month, it made me think…I can do this!
The details of the day grow foggy in this grandma’s brain, but it was obvious that the race organizers were not without their struggles, not enough volunteers – an eighth of a cup of warm water in the paper cups, dangerous collision areas between the 5K and 10K runners, all made for some unhappy runners as the day progressed. Even though I could probably sit here and list the trials along the way, I think they were minor when I put everything into perspective – once again – I did it! I ran another 5K. What a journey!
I would consider running this race again next year, but hopefully the Biggest Loser will be prepared D.C style.