Let’s get this out of the way … CANCER SUCKS. It just does. It always has and it always will. But, for as ugly and miserable as the disease is, I’ve seen WAY more beauty, compassion, love and miracles come out of it. In moments of despair and the fear of uncertainty it ALWAYS seems like there is someone willing and able to lift those that need lifting. I’ve seen that in my Mom’s journey and I know that is happens to many others … as evidenced in this race.
The Pink Series Half Marathon is a part of a woman’s only racing series that raises money for a different charity each year related to the realm of breast cancer. Hence, the pink. This year the Pink Series was raising money for the Image Reborn Foundation (click on it for details). A very awesome cause and reason to run.
Initially, I signed up for this race to just run it myself. Mainly, because I wanted to run it for my Mom. I also had this ambition that I could get some of my siblings to run it with me for our Mom at the time of signing up for it. I also had this ambition to run it in drag … but … let’s be glad that ambition only lasted like a week (even though I think I’d look good in a sports bra and lululemon).
But, it ended up that I was asked to pace the 2:45 pace group for the Utah Race Pacers. Which I was fine with, because I absolutely LOVE pacing. It’s such a motivating experience to help others reach their goals. Plus, it’s a different experience. You aren’t running for yourself, you’re running for others and that really keeps you determined to stay on pace throughout the race.
Since the race was in Park City my friend Carl and I carpooled up from Davis County. It’s really not that long of a drive as some people may think it is. It’s no different than driving to Provo from Bountiful. But, it’s nestled up in the mountains which I cursed seeing frost on the ground and car windows when we drove to the hotel for packet pickup. It’s just one of those reminders that winter is coming.
I hate winter.
But, that’s a post for another day.
So, I ended up nestled in my hoodie and Nemo beanie hat while waiting for the buses to take us to the starting line. I was quite comfy if you ask me. I ended up just sitting down and enjoying my sweet potato and banana like Fat Josh used to enjoy Saturday Morning cartoons and a big bowl of ice cream. It was purely sublime in my book.
Once we got up to the starting line I really didn’t want to change so I just removed my hoodie and kept my Nemo beanie on. It really is the most comfortable thing I’ve worn in years (okay that might be an exaggeration, but not really) and I bought it on clearance from Kmart this past week for like $9. Talk about a deal. Plus, being bald and having big ears that get cold easily it was perfect for the race.
So, it stayed.
And, I have to say it was kinda fun running in the Nemo beanie, because instead of just being “the pacer” … I was Nemo. I had a lot of the ladies looking for me or trying to keep up with me along the course. I also had quite a few ladies catch up to me and yell, “I FOUND NEMO!” I also yelled words of encouragement like, “JUST KEEP SWIMMING! JUST KEEP SWIMMING!” and “hold on, here we go! Next stop, knowledge!”
This is why I’m kind of a big Disneynerd. Don’t judge.
But, it was a fun race. Carl and I were the only two single men there so we had a goal of getting a phone number or date set. I established early in the run that I was single and almost immediately a chorus of voices yelled, “Nemo’s single! Nemo’s single! Let’s find him a date!” I laughed and welcomed the attention. And, for the record I got a couple people setting me up with a friend. SCORE!
Going into this race I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy course to pace. There was only about a 200-300′ elevation change and there were some rolling hills during the first three miles until it pretty much goes flat for the last four miles. So I game planned to bank a few minutes within the first few miles knowing the last few miles could be difficult for not just me, but those wanting a 2:45 finish.
Starting out the course was great and I had a few ladies stay with me for most of the race. We talked about running (naturally), how much we hate cancer and a little bit about each other. This is the one thing I love about pacing. You get to know people. You’re there with them for miles on end, you get to really know them. I love hearing people’s stories, especially how and why they got into running. It renews my love for running everytime I hear a new story.
The race as a whole was a great. There was a stretch around mile 9 where we had to run a loop around a park. I found a tad difficult because there was the slightest uphill that made it slightly difficult. Plus, I almost missed my turn and cut off a quarter mile of the course. It wasn’t marked that well at that location. Well, that or the sign was moved. There were some youth soccer games being played at the park so they could have probably been moved? But, in the end I found my way.
By the time I got to the last mile of the race I knew I was going to be cutting it close to my 2:45 time. But, I actually got to the finish line about 45 seconds before 2:45 so I just stood right in front of the finish line cheering on runners behind me. A couple of them were happy that they beat Nemo! Once I got to my time I simply walked across the finish line. It was perfect … timing.
After the race I hung out with the other pacers and a number of other friends. I also made a bunch of Rice Krispy Treats for the occasion. I made a Pink RK because of the nature of the race. It ended up being a Cake Bite RK with pink white chip on top and pink sprinkles … of course. They were a hit. Don’t ask me for the recipe though for a couple reasons. One, I made it up. Not sure if I could remember. And, two, there were probably like 10,000 calories in each square. So much sugar. So much butter. So much frosting. So much delicious.
Anyways, it was a great race to pace and to honor my mother. I gave her my necklace charm that I got as my medal. This naturally made Koko jealous and she tried to steal it from my mom on a couple occasions. She is such a cute spoiled kid. But, my mom was nonetheless honored and after telling her about the race she stated that she wanted to do the 5K next year!
I’m secretly and slowly making my family runners. One at a time.
NEXT RACE: The Haunted Half – SLC (Saturday, October 18th)
Total Mileage Breakdown for 20142014 Training Miles – 495.5 miles 2014 Walking Miles – 122.4 miles 2014 Race Miles – 373.75 miles 2014 Total Miles – 991.65 miles Monthly Total Miles for 2014 January – 100.0 miles February – 100.0 miles March – 130.0 miles April – 140.5 miles May – 108.65 miles June – 83.3 miles July – 93.75 miles August – 118.2 miles September – 88.55 miles October – 43.3 miles