Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Well, it happened....

This past Saturday, I ran the Ghost Town Trail 7K in Dilltown, PA. It is a smaller race that starts on a road (rolling hills) and ends on a limestone trail. It is a favorite of my running club and has been on my to do list for a couple of years now. This year, I learned that my sister, Colleen, would be in town for it and so would one of her best friends, Jodi.

Colleen and Jodi took first and second place in my 100 day challenge, and I was excited that they would be racing in Dilltown as well. We decided that we would each run our own race rather than stick together. Colleen and I are both marathon training, and our Sunday plans included a long run (18 for her and 10 for me), but we figured we would still be able to race as long as we kept the next day's run at a comfortable pace.

We arrived early for the race and hung out together.  I was thrilled to see the changes in Jodi and Colleen. They look like a completely different people now!

JODI - before

COLLEEN - before

Jodi, Colleen, and me : Pre-race

Isn't the difference so striking?!?!?! I am so happy to have played a small role in those transformations though as I tell them, *they* are the ones who did it - not me.

I digress. So, we hung out for a bit and then headed for the start. I knew Jodi was speedy because toward the end of the 100 day Challenge, she started talking about her paces and I was impressed right away. She is a natural runner. As we walked to the start, I jokingly said to her "Hmmmm...if you beat me, it would make for a pretty interesting blog post. Maybe I'll let you win." She laughed and we talked about what pace we hoped to accomplish. We both agreed that an 8 minute pace was within our grasp.

The race started, and Jodi and I were running quite close to each other. I didn't see Colleen but I knew she was hoping for closer to a 9 minute pace. I wasn't sure how Jodi was going to handle the hills because I had gone on and on about it being a trail course and how flat it would be. Believe me, I was as shocked as she was when we saw that it started on a hilly road!

At the half mile mark, Jodi pulled ahead, and I glanced down at my watch. She was FLYING! At the first mile marker, the time keeper called out "7 minutes and 30 seconds" and I could only see the lightning bolt wearing a blue tank top if I squinted. That was the last time I caught sight of Jodi.

At the turn around, I caught up to John, who is the head of my running club and kept pace right behind him for most of the last couple of miles. As I finished, I saw that my kids as well as some of my nieces and nephews were lined up for a high five so I threw in a few of those, to their delight, and then crossed the line.

I. Got. Beat. Though I can be fiercely competitive, I was so happy for Jodi that it didn't bother me at all. She worked hard and ran a better race than I did. And she is 5 years younger, but who's counting...

I saw "Lightning" right away and congratulated her on an amazing finish and then headed back toward the crowd just in time to see Colleen come in. I seriously had to hold back some tears, watching my sister finish a 7K in under 40 minutes. She has come so far!

Here are the final results:

Jodi placed first in her age (30-34) and I was second in mine (35-39). In lieu of medals, this race gives out metal railroad spikes as prizes (in "gold", "silver" and "bronze", to boot) Such a creative gesture - love it!

Congrats to Jodi and Colleen on a wonderful race and I hope we can do it again sometime!

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