Event recap from my memory of the run two years ago. I’m sure it’s completely accurate. How could it not be?
12/31/2011 – Beavercreek Resolution Run 5k – Beavercreek, Ohio
This is ‘the first run’. Actually, not my first run. There was a Homecoming 5k run at my college that I ran, but I remember only that I thought it was hilly (It wasn’t.) and trying to figure out how long exactly is 5k anyway (I now know that means 3.1 miles for those in the states.)
So I’m counting this as ‘the first run’.
I don’t remember entirely why we picked this run as it was in Ohio on New Year’s Eve starting at 8pm, completely in the dark, and the temperature could not have been any higher than 32 degrees (f). Oh yeah, and neither of us had trained for the run or even had run 5k in months. Perfect. As we walked into the gym to pick up our bib I looked around sure that I would see a familiar face running the race. I didn’t, but that may have been because I hadn’t seen many people I had graduated with for almost a decade and a half.
The run started at the front of the high school and we ran through nearby unlit neighborhood streets. I could see my breath even though we ran by only moonlight and the occasional flood light set 40 feet high far at the end of every other street. Long looming stark shadows of the runners in front of everyone were thrown down on the pavement at your feet preventing the lights from doing the one they were supposed to do for every person out there, flood light so you can see. No big deal. I had the reflection of the light off my warm moist breath against the cold dry air to light my way. As we approached the end of each street the blinding of the darkness was replaced by the blinding of 1000 watt halogen lights. Shadows quickly receded, then ever as quickly lengthened. The faces of people you didn’t even know you were running with again disappeared. Only the rhythmic sounds of footsteps and heavy breathing betraying the contents of the space around us.
As we wound through the neighborhood I had driven daily to get to and from school years ago, distinct and fleeting memories flashed through my mind. I ran off the road here once when it was raining really hard on my way to school. This is the house of the friend of my brother’s who no longer is around. I once sold oranges for a school fundraiser on this street. I used to pick up a person on my way to school here. I have no idea where we are right now. Better follow the sounds of the heavy breathing and footsteps in front of us.
Three miles later we found ourselves back at the school track where we made our way around to the finish line. The announcer was on the loudspeakers quickly reading off the names of each person as they crossed the finish line. It had been since high school since I had last heard my name announced at such a volume and the experience was still both a bit fun and embarrassing for the 1 second of stardom it took to say my entire name.
I suppose the run was a PR because I have no recollection of my finishing time for the only other race I had ever ran. Might as well keep the streak going – I don’t remember our finishing time for this race, but honestly it didn’t really matter.
The run only whetted the inevitable next step…