Twice this year, I ran races that were of a different distance than what I have been accustomed to. The usual and customary races are the 5k, 10k, 15k, 20k, 30k, half-marathon, marathon, and ultra-marathon.
These races were both 5 milers and both were trail runs.
The first 5 miler was the Toe Stumpin’ Trail Run and was held in February. My finishing time was horrible and I swore off trail runs. It was not a good experience with the rain, rocks, mud and all.
The second 5 miler was the Aduddell Riverside Run held May 19, 2007. I have run many races on Riverside Drive and they were all road races. But unbeknownst to me, this was a trail run. There was a big difference between this race and the Toe Stumpin’ Run. This was a wider trail and it was paved! I loved the river trail run.
On Saturdays, there are always lots of runners, cyclers, and skaters along the River Parks riverside trail. Therefore, there were many people cheering us on, but two women cheerers really stood above the rest.
The first was an older woman cycler who looked me in the eye at about mile 2 and said, “I’m proud of you.” At about mile 4, a younger woman runner looked directly in my eye with a big smile on her face and said, “good job!”
Their statements weren’t profound, or any different than what most people say. The big difference was the smile and the fact that they both looked directly in my eyes.
Their encouragement was great. Both women made me feel good and I smiled through the entire race.
By the way, I completed the Aduddell Riverside Run an hour faster than I ran the muddy Toe Stumpin’ Run.
Could it have been the better conditions? Or was it the cheering women?
Maybe it was both.