I did it! What can I say but "I DID IT!" My daughter Kathy and I started out at 8:00 am and drove to the North Salt Lake Center St. overpass and waited for the 5K (3.2 mi.) to begin. First the bike riders went, 850 of them! It took a while for all of them to get through the start gate. Then the 10K'rs, then it was our turn.
Before we left my house, we were pinning our numbers on the fronts of our shirts and adjusting our timing devices on our ankles when Kathy pulls out two more things to pin to our shirts. She had made fabric signs honoring my sisters (her Aunts) and my niece (her cousin) who are battling cancer. Kathy, you are amazing! It provided us with a tangible reminder that we could 'share' with others as we ran.
As we waited with the hundreds of other participants for the horn to sound indicating the beginning of the 5K we warmed up. We stretched, trying to release any tension in our leg muscles and hoping to prevent any injury. We looked around at the other runners; short, tall, fat, thin, young and old. Kathy pointed out an older man and told me that if he could do it, I could do it. He was probably only a year or two older than I was, but hey, she was cheering me on in her own way! Then the horn sounded. Ready or not, let's go....I started with a slow steady pace. I felt sorry for Kathy because she obviously was used to running a bit faster, but she slowed to accommodate me and we fell into an even, steady stride. A lot of people passed us. But we ignored them. Soon we passed her car which was parked a long way from the start line. The crowds thined. The bikers were starting to come back along the route. Kathy commented about how they ride in 'packs' which was really true. Several 'packs' passed us as we ran. I had my watch and was keeping track of our time and it was OK. Slower than Kathy would have liked, but she kept assuring me that we were doing this together and to have fun. At the time it didn't seem very 'fun' but we plugged on. At the half way point they had a water station set up and a young girl gave us small paper cups of water as we ran past and turned the corner. It's hard to drink water while you are panting heavily. But we sipped, and then just threw our cups down on the road. It was kind of cool to do that :) Whew....half way! We just kept up our steady pace and we started to pass other runners. Off in the distance we could see the overpass (finish line). It seemed so far away. But we kept going. We soon passed Kathy's car going the opposite direction, we were getting closer. I tried to step up my pace, we were still lagging behind Kathy's time, but she didn't seem to care. As we got closer to the end, people were lined up along the way and were cheering us on. Kathy grabbed my hand and held it up high with hers as we crossed the finish line, tears welled in my eyes as I realized that I had actually done it. We hugged. I wasn't prepared for the strong emotions that I would feel. It was a special moment for Kathy and I to share.
After we were done, they provided the participants with fruit, bread and water. We walked around and found Rick and Connor waiting for us. It was great to see them! We then went over to the wall where they had posted the times and I found mine....4th place! In my age group I came in 4th at 39 minutes! Needless to say I now have something to brag about. We did it!
I did it!!