I’ve been a bit of a running slacker lately. My monthly mileage is way down, and I’m not going to hit 50 miles this month. But I’ve been doing a lot of little races that I need to recap.
On Father’s Day, I ran the Annapolis Striders’ Father’s Day 10K. It’s part of their Championship Series, which I’m registered for but won’t complete (too many trips out of town). Yes, it was the day after I ran a 5K, which always makes for an adventure. But I had a great group of friends running, so I was looking forward to it.
This race was similar to the B&A Marathon/Half Marathon – it started at the same place and ran an out and back along the same trail. I really like the B&A Trail (it’s a paved trail) so I knew it would be a nice run.
Unfortunately, due to the weather and other circumstances, we only ended up with a small group of us running. Kim’s Dad was running his first race in a few years, after battling cancer and a few other health issues, and it was Father’s Day, so we agreed to stick with him, no matter what. We started out doing our Galloway 1:1 pattern, nice and easy, and we were quickly in the back of the pack. No matter – the Annapolis Striders are incredibly friendly and we knew that all the water stations would still be there for us.
At one point, Kim looked back at the bike monitor following us and said “You know, you can ride with us instead of following us.” In true fashion, Kim and I were jabbering away while her dad pushed forward in the race. I’d like to think we distracted him rather than annoying him, but who knows. The bike monitor happily joined us and we convinced him to do bike tricks to entertain us. He liked having cheerful people at the end of the race. After all, there’s no shame in being last. You’re out there and that’s what matters.
At one point, he even started singing to us. It started with the Superman theme, which morphed into the Super Mario theme. And then, as we pushed to the finish, he began to serenade us with “Call Me Maybe.” I laughed so hard.
Kim and I made a deal that her dad wouldn’t be the last to finish. He was struggling through the race, and we watched him closely to make sure that he was okay. As we ran towards the finish, a bunch of people came out to cheer. They could see how hard he had worked to get through the race. And that felt amazing. Kim and I managed to slip behind him to the finish so that she and I were last, which was exactly what we wanted. He was so proud of having finished the race and gave us both hugs to thank us for getting him through the race. And even though he struggled, he was already talking about his next race and how to train. That’s a great sign.
So definitely not my fastest race, but one of the more rewarding races. It’s a great feeling to be able to help someone get through a tough race. We’ve all been there for varying reasons and at varying speeds, but it’s nice to know you’re not alone.