Odd that I would run my first 5K a week after my first 10K, but that's what I did. Yesterday my friend Story told me about a 5K being held this morning at the seminary her husband attends. A seminary 5K! Naturally, we thought it'd be low-key, informal, and non-competitive. She was planning to run it, and invited me to join her. I agreed.
The seminary 5K was not what we expected. Those seminary students had sparks shooting from their squinted eyes as they gazed at the course ahead while we all waited behind the start line. Their tightly-pressed lips betrayed their resolve, and they even squatted and grabbed their toes to get ready for the start. Story, a veteran runner who has run the Marine Corps Marathon before, laughed with surprise, and we quickly realized we might be the only ones there planning to run slowly (Story just had a baby two months ago), at a pace that allowed chatting, and just for fun.
Sure enough, those seminarians ran intensely. The lone professor running the race, a gentleman in his fifties or sixties, was the only person running at our pace.
Nevertheless, we had a great time, and I enjoyed my first "official" race - the kind where you get a number pinned on your shirt - no matter how ridiculous the outcome!
Story tells me that most races have runners of all ages, shapes, sizes, and speeds, and that 11- or 12- minute mile runners can finish in the middle, instead of at the end.
Next time I'll have to find that kind of race.