Yesterday 4 of my runners and myself ran the Anoka Gray Ghost 5K. It would be Jen and Laurie's first race! They were both very nervous about running a 5K so at our Monday class we switched up the schedule and bumped up to a 10 minute run/2 minute walk x 3. They finished the workout beautifully, giving each of them a bit more confidence.
Carol and Kimm were running the race as well; Carol was in my first class this summer and is still running strong, losing weight and becoming faster. Kimm was in my first class and is now my Beginners II class, completing tough workouts and knocking off time as she races.
I told the girls I would pick them up and drive us all to the race. Kimm was going to go with her hubby. Carol, Jen, Laurie and I were a bundle of energy, talking about the race, the fears, the expectations. It was so much fun! I thrive on this stuff.
It was a beautiful, sunny, breezy day; about 50 degrees. We left in plenty of time to find a place to park and pick up our numbers.
The race is the beginning of the Anoka Halloween Parade. My gosh, the people really come out for this one. I looked at the results last year and there were 1400 that ran the race! There were that many (or more) watching the parade. It was crazy. Many of the registrants dressed in Halloween garb. It was quite interesting to people watch as we waited for the start of the race.
We all walked to the back of the crowd to begin. We were with some big orange dice, some people that had actual pumpkins carved for their heads (smashing pumpkins) and other unique costumes.
We heard the blare of a horn and we were off! Off and walking..it was very congested and we were way in the back. Eventually we came out into the open and could run. There were many many spectators cheering us on, it was quite an affair. I was running down the Main Street of Anoka, then turning into the surrounding neighborhoods.
I ran this race as my second race ever, 8 years ago, or so. It has certainly grown since then. I was shocked to look at my watch at mile 1 and see 737; mile 2 at 1530. A bit after 2 miles we turned back the way we had started and were able to see the other runners. I saw Kimm, Jen and Laurie and Carol. It was great to see them all on their way!
I came in at 2414; stood in the chute to give my tag and turned back to get pictures of the girls coming in. Pretty soon Kimm came along, looking strong and happy, then Laurie and Jen, running the whole race together! I looked for Carol and missed her finish, darnet!
We collected our long sleeved Halloween finisher shirts, had apples and water and walked back to the car.
What a great day! Jen and Laurie were both talking about the next race and Carol wants to take 36 seconds off during her next one; all good indications that they will keep on running!
I just love this. To be able to show others that they CAN run, that it can be a life changing experience, that running can be fun and something they can do alone or with others. This is what I love to do. For Jen and Laurie, their doubts floated away, they finished their race when they really weren't sure that they would be able to. I'm so glad that I had a part to play in their first race.
We were a car full of smiles and laughs driving back to Big Lake.
Way to go, girls!