Summer running is rough, especially when you don’t do it enough. And I knew that going into today’s Missionary Ridge Road Race.
My expectations for race day were it was going to hot (yup), humid (so much) & I was going to finish the race (spoiler: I did). It was my third race of the Battle for Chattanooga medal & I was bound & deteremined to finish it up & get the sweet free medal, sponsored by the Chattanooga Track Club. And I did.
The race is on a tough course & I’d been reminded of this many times leading up to the run but I’m stubborn enough that I knew I could complete it, even if I was the last person across the finish line. And I was.
I wound up walking most of the course & ran across the finish line in 1:19, seconds away from the clock flipping over to 1:20. It was tough but I was able to cheer on every other runner during the race (it was an out & back course) & enjoyed my time on the course that is full of rolling (and one or two a little bit bigger) hills.
One of my favorite parts of the day was all the sweet friends I ran into who were super supportive & gave me so many words of encouragement. Knowing that I had so many friends & aquaintances at the race was huge- I knew that they would celebrate along with me, regardless of where I placed or the time I ran. And even with finishing when I did & being the last one across the line, I had so many folks say congrats for knocking it out & getting the medal. How long it took doesn’t really matter, it’s how you did it. Those sentiments are so appreciated & lead to a finish that I am super proud of.
I thought that all that support would be the icing on the cake of this day, but it happened on the shuttle ride from the course to the parking lot.
I was sitting there & a girl who was accompanying her friend to the race told me I did an awesome job. I told her thank you & that I really appreciated it. She went on to say that she had recently been diagnosed with some health issues that meant she is working towards being more active & seeing someone her size cross the finish line was really inspiring. She also said her goal was to start running & eventually place in a race. I suggested a 5k or two she should try out & it sounded like her partner in crime she was with knew of some good races as well. I assured her with hard work & doing the thing, she will be very successful.
Here’s what’s so amazing about this to me: she didn’t care when I crossed that line. She just saw that I had done it.
I get so many sweet & supportive comments & compliments online but there is something about it coming from a someone in front of you.
So here’s to more running, more running friends & spreading more positivity amongst others & also not forgetting yourself- even if you’re in last place at the end of the race, you can still have won the day.
If you are in the Chattanooga/North Georgia area, make sure to check out the CTC & all their awesome races & training runs. They’re an awesome group & I’ve loved getting to know so many folks so far. Come join us!