I came acquainted with the Run4Hope at last year's FMCT gala, a low key annual dinner organized by my triathlon club, the Fletcher's Meadow Cross Trainers, who also happen to be the organizers of this great event, benefiting local charities, such as Sky's The Limit. I signed up with my husband as soon as the registration opened because I wanted to support the charity, to give back to the community and at the same time, be part of a very special day for FMCT. It didn't take long for my sons to ask me to register them as well because running in a local 5K.. why not afterall? That's what beep tests are for! No further training required, but of course, it's just a 5K, mom! I said, ok... you guys know better. But I didn't. I had no clue what I was going to do. Twitter didn't help either as nobody chimed in. Where are my 5 readers when I need them?
On Saturday we went to the Running Room to pick up our race kits, they were out of tshirts. I was told we were going to get them in about 2 weeks. I could care less, really, all I wanted was my bib with the chip in it. It looks like with the increased participation of high school students, the race attendance exploded this year, with over 400 participants overall, four times more than when it first started a few years ago. Knowing the race course pretty well, I was afraid that it may get crowded, but a separate start for the 10K participants and the 5K, took care of that. Great decision by the FMCT folks, and a good step forward from the last year's mass start.
On Sunday morning, given that we only had a 5 minutes drive to the start, we had the luxury of "sleeping in". Got up at 7am, showered, got dressed, then my husband made pancakes, which we devoured. We left the house shortly after 8:30am, with zero stress. What a difference a race in your backyard makes! We parked in a nearby plaza to give ourselves some "warm up" distance, then we jogged to Professor's Lake and we still had 15-20min to spare. I was looking for Anabela, but I couldn't find her. I caught up for a bit with Anya, a friend from FMCT who was running the 10K, then we made our way to the starting line. The 10K runners left, then it was us 5 minutes later.
The first 2K were pretty tough as I was settling in this pace that was the most aggressive in my running history. I dialed down a bit after seeing something close to the 4:30min/km on my watch, I knew that was not going to happen, but I was aiming for under 5:15min/km. The first km split came in at 5:00min/km, and that felt good. I told myself that I was going to take advantage of the downhills and those ended up coming just at the right times for me to catch up a quick break then keep going strong.
I saw my coach just as I reached km 2 and not only I wasn't expecting to see him there, but it gave me the mental boost that I needed to never doubt myself that day. Checked my form, checked my pace, then started passing people one by one.
|Approaching the chute|
|I've got this!|
As I stayed at the finish waiting for the boys, saw Anabela and her daughter coming in just 2 minutes later (speedy mice these two!) and managed to talk to them just for a few more minutes until my younger son and hubbs arrived.
|The boys are in good company. Nice view there, I bet!|
|Zin doing the airplane. Must be a soccer player thing.|
I will be participating again for sure, so close to home, be it running or volunteering, I will be there! Thanks again to the Falcons for a well put together race and for helping the kids in need! I bet it helped my kids fall in love with running a little bit more too.
|FMCT organizers at the 9th annual Run4Hope Charity Race event. Photo by Sky's The Limit.|