Well, one race down in my three races in three weeks plan. The 10-K. And, I won. But more about that later.
This is the first time I've ever run a 10-K all the way from beginning to end. I did one a few years ago, but I didn't run the whole way and I hadn't been training then the way I have been lately. I did OK back then, all things considered.
Today's run though has to be considered in light of the fact that I planned to run with my little brother, who is 10. After all, this was a fund-raiser for my favorite charity, Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Here was my plan. The race included a 10K and a 5K but the 10K was simply the 5K route twice. So I figured we'd start out together, he'd fall back and then I'd go on to do the whole race and we'd pretty much finish together. (Initially, and this will be important as our story develops, he said he wanted to do the same race I did and so he was going to do the 10K. When you're not thinking about, that doesn't sound but so crazy.)
Anyway, it all went as planned in the beginning. We started out together and when he started to walk I said I'd see him later.
So I was running and trying to pass some of the people who were in front of me but thinking at the same time that really I was only competing with myself. I think people of my current skill level don't run many lower-tier 10K races in November. It started to get lonely out there as distance was created between all the other faster runners and myself. (Remember I said that I won. Keep reading.) I heard people near me talking, they recognized each other from previous races. And they hadn't been training very well. Great.
A little over half a mile from the turn around spot, I came upon my little brother. He was walking and I knew that far along I wouldn't complete the 10K before he finished the 5K. But it was good to see him standing up and moving forward. He said he'd injured himself. He'd pulled a muscle, he said. I walked with him for a bit and asked if he wanted me to walk back with him or if I could finish the race. He told me to finish the race.
So I put my head down and tried to keep running. I tried to pick up the pace. I couldn't see too many people but I was moving.
Anyhow, I crossed the finish line in about 66 minutes.
So how did I win, you ask? Well, there were two classes of runners for this race. Competitive and non-competitive. The race organizers at Big Brothers Big Sisters asked my case manager how old I was. She said 29. And I came in first in the 20-29 age category for non-competitive runners. Heck, I'm only like 45 days away from 29. And it all happened too fast for me to protest.
My little brother came in first for non-competitve 10 year olds in the 10K. Now he only ran the 5K as I've mentioned. But he told me he wanted to do the 10K. And he can accurately be described as audacious and bold. Audacity not only is its own reward, but it brings other rewards along with it as you go through life.
Plus, I doubt any 10-year olds ran the 10K faster than my little brother ran the 5K. But I'm calling the office on Monday and if anybody did, I'll personally give them a prize.
After all, Big Brothers Big Sisters isn't really about racing times. It's about spending time with someone and being a mentor.