Thursday, May 22, 2008

His First Race

My Charming Friend finished his first race yesterday -- not that I had any doubt that he would follow through on his commitment to run Concord's Rock N' Road Race.

He did a pretty good job -- very good, actually -- especially considering that we haven't been running much lately.

CF agreed to the run the race as part of the wedu team, which I had joined in exchange for having their team captain at my table for a Big Brothers Big Sisters breakfast earlier this year. In my world, it's all about bartering and exchanging favors.

During one of our few practice runs, CF had completed 3+ miles (although perhaps there were some walking points in those runs?), so I didn't have a doubt that he could do it. Plus, being his nature, I knew that the race atmosphere and the energy of the crowd would pull him easily through the 3.1 miles.

And, as he later told me, he drew upon others for inspiration. "If they could do it, so could I," he said of some not-so-physically fit people in the crowd.

CF showed up in brand-spankin' new running clothes, definitely looking the part for the day and ready to run. (I was a bit disappointed that he didn't show up in padded Spandex like he told me he would.)

We made our way to the Big Bell on the State House lawn, where we were to meet the rest of our team. The rest of the team eventually joined us (I say eventually because I'm sure CF will point out that we were precisely on time and the others were late).

We laced on our timing chips, pinned on our numbers and headed to the Start Line. And we waited some more.

Then it started to rain. Oh, and it was cold.

Certainly not a great day for a race. I told CF once again that he's a good sport. I think it was probably the tenth time I'd told him that day.

The starting gun went off and the 5,600+ runners and walkers slowly took off. The rain came down and soaked us for the first mile. CF didn't complain and just kept running.

He didn't even stop at the chocolate covered strawberries or the straw hats being handed out to runners. (Maybe he just wanted to get the race over with?)

We spent the rest of the race people watching and commenting on runner's body shapes (and studying the extremely defined calves of a runner in front of us).

Soon enough -- in just a little more than 31 minutes -- we crossed the Finish Line. CF had finished his first 5K. I was so proud. He took it all in stride -- and talked about ways we could have made better time.

But for me it wasn't about the timing clock or distance or anything else. It was about doing something I enjoy with someone I enjoy spending time with. There'll be plenty of ways to improve our time for the next race.

Yep, the next race. CF's already given me the OK for me to sign him up for another 5K next month.

Either he's crazy or really likes me -- or maybe a bit of both.


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