I had another post planned today, but then I ran across these photos on Facebook and the memories flooded in. So let me just throw it back to one of the best and most fun races I’ve run.
Mount Tabor, NJ: Howard Bell Memorial 5k in Mount Tabor, NJ. I remember it like it was yesterday, not five years ago. In 2009, the race was in it’s 19th year and is a big supporter for kids.
If you look close in that video, you can see me at the starting line and then take off around the one-minute mark. Then at 3:42 you can see my aunt and I in the back listening to the results.
I don’t remember how I found this race or why I decided to do it, but it was cheap and my aunt and uncle promised to cheer me on and pick me up at the finish line. Plus, it was an evening run, which was perfect because I got to lay out in the sun all day, then go for a run at night. Rookie moves.
“It is one tough course. Mt. Tabor, as you can guess from the name, is a very hilly place. You run up, you run down, and you do it over and over and over again.” -Race director, Keith Patterson
I had run these hills over and over just for fun every day, but I had never raced them. I was excited to put a little extra fuel behind each stride.
Floppy men’s Hanes t-shirt. Hard heel strike. Niiiiiice, Edwards.
And hilly? Holy freaking yeah. The hills in the Morristown, NJ area are no joke. They’re straight up and straight down. I think this course was a couple laps with a different lap at the end which shot straight into the finish line.
Lap courses are tough. Who the heck wants to run by the finish a few times before actually getting to run through it? Such a tease.
T-rex hands. Every time.
But I remember the energy was AWESOME. We ran through neighborhoods and into a golf course, so people were outside of their houses cheering; they had set up lawn chairs and coolers. Small races are the best because the sense of community is so much bigger.
I kept up with this one guy wearing sweet Nikes for awhile, then dropped him on the last hill. BOOYAH. I think that was the first time I saw road flats, too. I couldn’t believe he was running in shoes without thick soles. I was so green.
And look at that. I ended up winning my age group in Females under 20. I think I also won for overall females because I got a check for $50.
Oh, the good days of running. How I miss you.
What was your first race ever?