Monday, September 06, 2004

Women's Adventure Race

Yesterday my friend Jen and I ran in The Women's Adventure Race. Some of the proceeds of the race go to the Young Survival Coallition, which benifits breast cancer reseach and support for young women affected by breast cancer. This was our first race, and up until I started preparing for this race, running was the last thing I EVER imagined myself doing. As a teenager in athletics I began to associate running with punishment, so up until now I always wondered what in the world could be so FUN about RUNNING! Well, now I know. Prior to the beginning of the race, the national anthem was sung and a full pipe band played. I was lost in the moment looking in front of me at the 600 plus women there with me. It was amazing to actually be a part of something so great and to know that this was the opening ceremony to an event that I was about to participate in. Wow.

Yesterday, I ran, biked and swam my heart out and enjoyed every minute of it. We screamed in excitement, pain, and support along the rocky trails, the steep inclines and in the muggy water. There were times when we rode in complete silence as well, each lost in our own determination. If one of us needed a boost, the other would sense it and the silence would break and the cheers would begin. Through it all, we never stopped, we never gave up and we never lost sight of our goal, which was to complete the race like so many cancer survivors have, and we were finishing the race for those who could not. It was such an emotional experience to look up through the sweat and see a sign on someones back "In memory of mom." How COULD we stop? We couldn't. As we crossed the finish line hand in hand, seeing our kids and loved ones cheering us on, it became so much more than we ever imagined it would be. It wasn't just for them, it wasn't just for the Survival Coallition, it was for us. We did something we never imagined we could and we gave 110%. We looked up and saw the the clock, and realized we had been racing our hearts out for 2 hours. I had no idea how I had done it, and I still don't. I have NEVER done anything so trying in my life. We didn't finish in first or even 10th place, and I honestly don't know what place we finished. I know that an hour later there were still awesome women crossing that finish line. The results were posted for everyone to see later that day, but I really don't have an interest in knowing where we stand. I'm just so thrilled to have finished that race, there is no number that could change the way I feel about yesterday. No, it wasn't the Olympics, but to us and our families, it came pretty damn close.