I started running many years ago, in 1972, when I was in graduate school at the University of Maryland. At first I ran because it allowed me the flexibility I needed with a busy schedule and was a terrific way to reduce stress. This is especially true when you can run in scenic areas such as woods, trails and golf courses.
When I moved to Louisville in 1975 I was totally shocked that there was a 13 mile race, The Mini Marathon, because I never ran anything close to you that distance. Nevertheless I jumped in my first Mini in 1976 and had a blast, even though the course was extremely demanding, taking us twice around Iroquois Park, requiring us to run on sidewalks to downtown and finish on the Belvedere midday on a Monday.
I’ve continued to run through the years, entering all types of races. My neighbors used to think I was crazy because I would take the bus or ride my bike to work then run home in the afternoon.
But this was a very efficient way to train because I had to run at least 9 miles to get home but it didn’t take too much longer than driving home. Besides, after the first mile of my run all the frustrations from work disappeared! Nowadays most of my training is in the parks which are very scenic and not much traffic.
When I was younger my favorite distance was 10K because it is a nice balance between speed and endurance. Currently my favorite distance is the 5K because my body has worn out over the years and prohibits me from doing the training mileage I used to do.
I enjoy River City Races for several reasons. First, you can always count on an accurate course and an accurate time which is important for monitoring your progress. Second, the races are casual and fun. It’s always great to see old friends who have stayed with their training over decades even when our times aren’t what they used to be. Next, the courses are well designed, interesting and safe. Last, the award system is well thought out and emphasizes participation as well as performance which is important since consistency of training is very important.
I’ve been running for five decades and I hope I can continue right up to the day I either drop dead or my kids send me to a nursing home! Although I’m doing less running and more biking than when I younger, my run is something I look forward to. There’s nothing like a run to bolster your spirit, relieve stress and make you feel young!