Who is the man behind those crazy shorts?!
My original running days go all the way back to high school when I ran cross country but then college, Army, married and family life and work didn't leave much time for running plus the interest wasn't there any more. Then in 1998 I saw my daughter running frequently but the crowning moment came when I picked her up at the airport after she had completed the Disney Marathon. Watching her hobble off the plane obviously in severe pain (which we now know as the post marathon shuffle) but with the biggest smile on her face, I thought "hey, that looks like fun". I then decided to start training for the Derby Mini Marathon hoping that I could finish the race while the clock was still up and the roads were still closed. And now, twenty years later, the clock is still up and I'm still out there running.
Having finished 11 marathons, 29 half marathons and numerous 15K, 10 milers, 10K and 5K races, it's hard to say which distance is my favorite because each one has its own personality. I even can include trail running which includes doing R2R2R twice. I can't even say which race was my favorite because every one has left me with great, happy memories.
My advice to all new runners out there first and foremost is to make sure you enjoy yourself and have fun. Going fast is nice but enjoying the scenery around you and the camaraderie of fellow runners will allow you to keep running for many more years. Remember, you still get the same medal as the first place runner, and I believe you get more out of your entry fee while you are enjoying the race. I continue to run simply because I like running and fortunately, I am still able, although not nearly as fast as I used.
I have so many great memories of past runs and races that I still want to make more memories so I continue to run. Plus you have the health benefits of being out there. I notice many of my non-running friends in my age category have similar aches and pains that I do, but I get to blame those pains on running which keeps me younger.
I like competing in the River City Races because it allows me to enjoy the opportunities to run against my fellow runners and the races are always well done with plenty of benefits like food and drink after plus the social aspect of renewing old friendships and making new ones. Our running group, Not Quite Ready For Prime Time Runners, is always represented at these local races plus we often do road trips together for out of town races. Many stories come to mind from these trips. (Don't ask).
Probably the most important thing to remember is to get out there and start moving. It matters not how fast you are but that you are doing it. Runners are a friendly group and no matter your pace, you will always be welcome when you start running.
See you out there on the streets. I'll be the one in colorful shorts.