Wow, what a wonderful pleasure to compete in the first race since breaking my neck 1 1/2 years ago! It’s times like these that I’m amazed by my good fortune.
This is the first of many races I’ll run wearing my “Team Reeve” shirt (see picture opposite) – in the spirit of spinal cord injury (SCI) research by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation – and will continue to do so as long as it isn’t too hot to race in a shirt! Later this year I’ll be fundraising for Team Reeve in preparation to run the New York City Marathon.
The race took place on Sunday, March 21, 2010, at Hemlock Overlook in Clifton, VA, and was the second in a series of four “Backyard Burn” Trail Running races put on by EX2 Adventures. The almost entirely off-road course consisted of a loop of mostly hiking trails, old dirt roads, and open fields. We ran over lots of large rocks, along Spring-inspired rivers, over fallen trees and lots of gnarled roots, crossed a few smaller streams, and ascended four very decent-sized hills (3,100 ft elevation gain). The 10 mile race ran the loop twice and the 5 mile race only once.
Results: In the 10 mile race, with a time of 1:20:01, I placed 13th overall out of 110 runners, and 6th in my age group. Not bad for a new beginning! (Not the ‘first day of my life’ – that was on September 20th, 2008 the day my surgery took place – but this race is a significant step to me just the same.)
My friend Sage won the 5 mile race, taking 1st overall for women and 1st in her age group. Also, my new friend Nate took 2nd overall for men and 2nd in his age group in the 5 mile race. Nice work Sage and Nate!
This wasn’t an easy course by any means, but there was such great camaraderie amongst my fellow runners. I just love ‘race people’ – all are such hard workers with great competitive spirits and positivity. If you’re ever feeling down, either go run a race or volunteer at one – the happiness is contagious!
See you on the road (or the trail).