About 10 weeks ago, I signed up for the Fargo 10K with my girlfriend, Heather. She thought that I would be helping her train for her first 10K, but the reality was that she gave ME the incentive to get myself ready for the race! I had only done one other 10K in my life and that was in July 2002, when I was quite a bit younger and lighter...
The night before the race, mother nature conspired against us and dumped some snow and even whipped up some fierce wind to go with the cold temperatures. Suddenly we were faced with what-the-heck-to-wear and wondering if we would be able to drive to the Fargo civic center in time... Layers, layers and more layers were needed to contend with the high winds and 23 degree temperatures.
We were at the civic center with plenty of time on Saturday morning and were so lucky to have Heather's sister, Salena, there to distract us and entertain us before the race. For those who don't know Salena, she is one funny gal-pal to have around when you need distraction.
Just before the race started, Heather and I got separated in the crowd and I was so stressed trying to find my bestest-friend! Let me just point out the obvious... when you are basically 5 foot nothing, you can't see anyone else in a crowd of 400 + runners. With only minutes to spare, Heather found me and we were all smiles ready to go. We started out together and just as we began to cross the Veteran's bridge over the Red River, Heather turned to me and said, "See you at the finish-line." I smiled and started off, thinking all the way about the invocation spoken at the beginning of the race... "we pray that You give these participants bodies that bend but don't break..." and I asked God to carry Heather and me if our bodies failed.
At 53 minutes 22 seconds, I crossed the finish line and fumbled with my cold fingers to turn off my stop watch. Steve and the girls were there to greet me and then I quickly went down the course to find Heather and cheer her on. I am so proud of Heather finishing her first 10K and beating her goal time by over 3 minutes!! Less than 6 months ago, Heather began training for her first 5K and now has completed a 10K. She is an inspiration to me and to others on what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it.
The medal said, Running is life... make the most of it. The reality is that Life is life, make the most of it!