I am registered for the Princess Half Marathon 2015. In order to get a good corral placement you need to submit a 10K time. I live in Maryland, it’s almost October the cold weather is approaching and outdoor running will quickly be over. I found a local 10K close to home that was on a race course that I was comfortable with because I often train there. Well I QUICKLY learned that a timed race is a completely different monster than lacing up and going out there alone.
A little about the race. This year was the 5th Annual Dominator 5/10k Walk & Run. Dominic Osorio was a sweet boy taken too soon by brain cancer just after his 7th birthday in 2009. He was a local celebrity, he found his inner super hero and fought hard until the end. The D.O. Believe Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness and funding for children’s cancer, with the primary focus on brain tumors; supporting the families and children fighting the disease; and spreading Dominic’s message that anyone can be a superhero! Why would I not do this race and help raise funds to end this horrible disease.
Saturday was a gorgeous morning to start, mid 50’s and sunshine. Perfect for a race right? Sure for those doing the 5k at 8am it was! My 10k start was at 9am, at this point it was full on sun and about 65 and climbing out there. It was a great race atmosphere, everyone was there to raise money for the foundation and have fun doing it. I met new runners that were beginners as well, so that helped with my sudden fear of the 10k. The farthest I have done is around 4 miles, so 6.25 suddenly really seemed like a lot. There were 74 runners for the 10K. My thought was OH NO! I like big crowded races then I don’t feel so SLOW. Or fun runs with my kids, there is no chip timing and I can just enjoy the runner environment. There was no going back, I committed and I was doing this.
And the race starts, hey look at me I’m keeping the pace I like and staying in the middle of the pack. YAY ME. Oh that lasted about 15 minutes, because suddenly I was the back of the pack. OK not a big deal, it was evident those that signed up for this are mostly regular distance runners (40 of the 74 finished in under an hour) and about 10 or so run/walk people. Suddenly it’s just me and Mr. Don left, the rest of the runners are GONE! Can I tell you Mr. Don is 61 years young, and he was so sweet and amazing and I will never forget him cheering me at the finish (he finished 10 minutes ahead of me). Almost to mile 3 and I am suddenly doubting my ability to finish I mean a 61 year old man is in front of me. What the hell am I doing? I’m not a runner, this is a joke. Jenn you are LAST! I’m about to cry and I see this little girl on the Mile 3 bridge, its my Madeline!! Thank you JESUS, I needed so badly to see a face that would encourage me to keep going. She and Dan were there with water for me, I gave a quick kiss and got moving. With a bit of wind in my sails I head toward mile 4, there I find a group of volunteers just cheering me on. They knew what I knew, she’s the last runner, but they didn’t care the cheered for me just like I am sure they cheered for the rest of them. It wasn’t fake it was genuine. I cried, and kept going. I NEVER stopped, I pushed myself. I was going to finish. And I did, to a cheering crowd of the 10K runners getting their trophies for 1st place, and fastest male and female categories. And there was Mr.Don with a big smile cheering me to the finish. I finished with exactly a 16 minute mile in 1.39. But I FINISHED!
I obviously don’t have a lot of experience with timed races and the race community in Baltimore. But I would like to say that Elite Race Management owners and staff are absolutely AMAZING. Shawn was out there for pace purposes (and probably to say the girl in pink, yeah she’s the last runner). They never once made me feel insignificant or last, they were encouraging me at every mile! I will forever be thankful to have had that experience. If you want to organize a race of any type contact them. They really are great.
This was mentally a tough race for me. I doubted myself so many times, I never wanted to quit though. I knew I had to finish. I pushed my body because there are many children out there just like Dominic that will never have the chance to run a race because their lives were taken too soon. I am blessed with 2 healthy daughters and wanted to show them that you can do anything you put your mind and heart into. I am proud that I did this and finished no matter if I was first or last, I did it.
#74 Jennifer Greene Pylesville MD BIB: 1122 36 F 1:39:09 16:00/M <—I have no shame in this number because I finished!