Last Monday – Memorial Day – I ran a different kind of race. I had originally intended to run a 10K that was about a 30 minute drive from where we live, but then I saw a post on the local running group’s Facebook page that interested me. Run any distance you want – 5K, 10K, 15K, half, marathon. Suggested donation of $20. All proceeds benefit Wounded Warrior Project. As a spouse of a Navy veteran, I appreciate efforts to take care of our vets and their families. So much is sacrificed for the military for our freedom, and I believe we should give back whenever we can.
It was worth passing up a PR in the 10K to be a part of this purposeful race.
The race was held at a local park on approximately a 1.5 mile loop. Over 600 small American flags lined the trail. Our starter, via Skype, was a service member deployed in Afghanistan and husband to one of the runners. There was an aid station at the start/finish with Powerade and water. When you finished your distance, you were to write your time and distance. There were bags with medals, stickers, and bracelets for the finishers.
I chose to run a 10K since it was a trail. I’m not typically fond of trail races, but that’s because I tend to lose focus. I’m also not graceful or very coordinated. I decided not to look at my Garmin except to check the distance. Even though I’ve run on this trail before, I was surprised at how long one loop around felt. The effort in running on a trail is completely different from the road, but I was grateful for the shade that lined most of the course.
I finished my four loops – 6.21 miles – in about 1:04:00. That’s over 10 minutes slower than my 10K road PR. This race wasn’t about time though.
Our group’s goal was $1000. Last I saw, there was more than $1100 raised for Wounded Warrior Project with about 40 runners participating. I’m honored to have been a part of it.
What races have you done that were meaningful without being attached to a time goal?