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ALADY2BE
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Races, Great for the Body and the Soul!

Friday, October 25, 2013



2011 was a banner year for me in physical fitness. I completed my first half marathon in February, 5K’s in April and October, and 10k’s in June, August, and December. I made a commitment to myself that each year I would complete six races (usually 75% walking/25% jogging). Race participation keeps me motivated to train between races. So far this year, I’ve completed 5 races (including a full marathon, WOO HOO) and registered for my 6th race. As a result of races, I look and feel better. Although participating in races is good for the body, allow me to share how race support can affect the Soul.

The Tiger Run 10K that I completed in 2011 was my first race that included truly steep “challenging hills”. Like all races, the start included a crowd of runners with pacing and speed working as a crowd thinner. The first three miles only included slight inclines. At the half-way point, I found myself walking alone with participants either a great distance ahead or behind me. However, God sent and angel who had been cheering from the sideline. This sweet stranger said “You’re doing great. Would you like me to walk with you?” She lived in the area and knew the hills I was about to face. I said, “Yes”. My angel then proceeded to help me to finish that race and I thank God for her.

Her support made me think of those that support races by arriving early for race set-up, handle registration, man water stations, stand to the side with words of cheer and encouragement, etc. I thought if I can participate in six races, I can support six races. So I’ve handled traffic for the PTA Fund raiser in El Segundo (people get angry when you tell them they can’t turn onto a street. Oh well), I’ve distributed water for the Prostate Cancer 5K near USC, and most recently my daughter and I set up camp at Mile 20 of the Long Beach Marathon. Mile 20 of the Marathon that I completed was my “wall”. It was the point where maintaining 15 min. miles was no longer of consequence. I was exhausted and wanted to quit but knew I couldn’t. Although my internal voice forced me to press on, it would have been really nice to have supporters there with words of encouragement. All year, I’ve known that I had to support at least one marathon and my spirit said you have to be at Mile 20. So with signs in hand that said “Welcome to Mile 20” and “You Got This!”, my daughter and I cheered, encouraged, ran a few steps, took pictures, and did whatever we could to help the racers finish. A gentleman ran over hugged me and said he just needed that. A lady stopped and began to cry. Countless others thanked us for being there while we in turn thanked them for allowing us to be witnesses of their accomplishment. Cheering at Mile 20 was AWESOME. Each time I’ve volunteered it has been a rewarding experience. Try it. Share SparkPeople love at a race in your neighborhood. I guarantee you’ll love it. And if you are in Long Beach, CA next October, look for me at Mile 20. Yes, races are Great for the Body and they can be Great for the Soul Too!!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • v MISSLISA1973
    Good heavens! Sorry about that! I was having trouble (clearly) getting it to post and then it posted three times. emoticon
    1002 days ago
  • v MISSLISA1973
    What a great plan! I have directed traffic for a race once too, and you are right, people do not adjust well! emoticon I love that you park yourself at mile 20... a classic spot for people to hit the wall. Race organizers love their volunteers, and so do the racers. I love that you have decided to volunteer for as many races as you participate. What a great plan!

    emoticon Lisa
    1002 days ago
  • v MISSLISA1973
    What a great plan! I have directed traffic for a race once too, and you are right, people do not adjust well! emoticon I love that you park yourself at mile 20... a classic spot for people to hit the wall. Race organizers love their volunteers, and so do the racers. I love that you have decided to volunteer for as many races as you participate. What a great plan!

    emoticon Lisa
    1002 days ago
  • v JUMPINJULIE
    Your blog is so inspiring to keep going thank you.
    1002 days ago
  • v JEWELLE217
    Congratulations on such fantastic accomplishments! emoticon

    And what a great way to "pay it forward" to others trying to reach the same goals! You are an angel to them emoticon and an inspiration to me and my goal of the Biggest Loser Half Marathon in July!! emoticon

    Deb


    1007 days ago
  • v 4RASCALS
    emoticon on completing all your races. What an accomplishment. It's great that you also volunteer at races, you understand what the runners go thru. emoticon


    1007 days ago
  • v -PAULA
    Congratulations on finishing all your running events! Thanks for being a volunteer, especially at the "Mile 20" mark. After two years of participating in running events, I started volunteering this year and love it. Almost all were 5Ks though, either at registration or finish line. You have inspired me to gather my couple of running buddies and go further out in the lonely territory in longer races. Thanks for sharing your story!
    1007 days ago
  • v DLDMIL
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1007 days ago
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