Race for the Cure – Upstate
Today was a fun and inspiring day. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is a huge event that raises money and awareness for breast cancer. This event in Greenville, SC was a pretty big event – over 5,000 runners and walkers participated. The event was excellent – VERY organized and festive. Lots of good stuff from vendors and plenty of food and water for everyone. There was live music and lots of excitement.
The day started under dreary skies. It was damp and misty as we arrived at the event around 7:00am. The race didn’t start until 9:20, but they asked for all participants to get there early due the crowd they were expecting. A few of us walked around and gathered freebies from various booths – bags, water bottles and pens were the standard things. Every booth was decorated in PINK, of course. Many teams went out of their way to decorate and dress up. Lots of bras hanging about! It was cute.
There were 800 “competitive” runners. We had to sign up as a competitive runner to get the timing chip. The rest just ran and walked without getting an official time. The competitive runners started first, thankfully! I would have hated to fight all the thousands of walkers.
The course was fun because there were many times where the runners had to make u-turns and you were running the other way down the same street you just ran. That means I got to see many of my teammates going the opposite direction as me. During the first mile was was going strong and heard lots of cheers from my friends. It was really neat. I passed the first mile marker in 9:09. It was a little fast for me, but I was unable to keep up with my pace. The weather was so bad that my handy Garmin did not pick up the satellite. For some reason I am completely unable to tell how fast I am going. I really needed to stick to a 9:30 pace to be able to go the distance and finish in under 30 minutes.
The second mile was almost completely uphill. I held pretty strong, but my pace decreased considerable. I passed the mile 2 marker at 19:00. I was going to have to run the last 1.1 mile fast. After a brief downhill I gained some momentum. Then it hit – the biggest hill yet. It wasn’t necessarily very steep just steep enough and LONG. It was virtually the whole third mile. It didn’t start going downhill again until the finish line was in sight.
My pace was so slow at the peak I was barely running. I just couldn’t get my breath. My legs felt strong, but that doesn’t do much good if you can’t breathe! Finally I topped the hill and saw the finish. I kicked it in gear and ran as fast as I could to the finish. I saw the clock and was crushed to see it at 30 minutes with the seconds rapidly working their way to 31. I HAD to finsih in less than 31 minutes. I gave it all I had and finished in 30:57 – I barely made it!
The official time was 30:57, I placed 16th out of 41 in my age group and 177th out of 367 in my gender.
After I finished I hung around the finish line to cheer on my team. Sue came in next at 35:26. This was her second race and she shed a few minutes off of her first race time I think. She was thrilled and I am so happy for her!
The rest started coming in a couple at a time after 40 minutes. Everyone did great – just getting out there and doing something like this is awesome. Hopefully everyone will see how exciting and motivating racing can be and will sign up for more.
All that being said, the real reason we were there today was to raise money for the Cure. Our team did great and raised over $2500.00 in a few short weeks. Many cancer survivors were honored, including one of my teammates, Cindy Thompson. She is incredibly strong and has beat breast cancer. She was one of the hundreds of survivors here today running and walking.
Now I have to get busy and start training on some hills and doing speed training!
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