Usually when I race, I look forward to being competitive – to pushing myself as hard as I can and hoping for an award of some kind. I had a feeling that Monday’s race was going to be tough. After all, I am still on the i-list (micro-tear was confirmed last week so I’m hesitant to push myself too much) and my training is down. The age categories also have a ten year spread and I’m almost at the top of mine. sigh…
However, I was really looking forward to the 5KSM Turkey Run because I was going to be able to spend the morning with some great friends.
Since I knew so many people who were going to be at the race, I worked to pull together a community team, running under The Running Company name. Shawn immediately agreed to being a part of it, as did our friend Darryl, who is back into racing after an almost 20 year absence (in high school, he ran an 8:30 3000m time). Graham declined because he wanted to run the 5K with his 8 year old, who was running his first 5K. Delilah’s boyfriend, Jimmy, jumped on board and that left us needing one more runner.
Out of the blue, my friend, Liz, e-mailed me to say that her sons, 16 and 13, were going to run the race too. Both are strong runners; David ran a 16+ minute 5K last year when he was 15, and Tommy is usually right behind me at the races. I’m always proud to say that I coached them when they were at my school and I was thrilled that I was going to see them on Monday morning. Thanks to Liz and her sons, our team was complete. We’re still waiting for official results, but it seems that we did win the Open Community Team. Yeah, Team Running Company!
I wasn’t just surrounded by my running mates, though. My walking friend, Carleen, was also at the race with her two sons. Carleen is another Super Mom in town who is busy with work and always has something on the go, but she always makes time for family, friends and fitness. On Monday, her dedication to power walking earned her a first place overall finish. Way to go, Carleen!
The morning wasn’t just about spending times with friends who run but spending time with friends and making new ones. Delilah, with her foot in a cast, was there to cheer us on and I was thrilled to be able to spend some time with her. And after the race, I finally introduced myself to a few Toronto Olympic Club runners, whom Shawn and I frequently pass on our Wednesday night runs. These two “kids”, both probably less than half my age, invited us to run with them (The TOC, they sais, is looking for Masters runners). Now that I’ve actually spoken with them and not just waved hello, I think I just might try to keep up with them one Monday night.
Later in the evening, I realized how much running has shaped my life over the past few years. Or maybe, my life has shaped my running. Either way, I’m grateful to have so many friends – and only some are mentionned here – to share it with.