Out to race

En route

En route

Of the many reasons to run a major one is that it gets you out. Out of bed. Out the door. Outside. Out of your tired funk. Just out.

I awoke with the sun shortly after 5 a.m. for my first race in a while. A slight nervousness lingered in the mind, as always. Although I am decidedly not 12 anymore, I feel like it on the morning of a race, any race.

The Wood Gormley School in Santa Fe organized a 5K, raising money and getting everyone out: parents, children, dogs, the local fast ones. A children’s choir sang the national anthem, and we were off. Having won my first race ever last fall –a 5K too– I thought: let’s go out with those skinny, speedy guys.

Hmmm. There seemed to be no air. Or were my lungs malfunctioning?

I remembered that we were running at altitude, and realized that the first half was straight uphill. So I dropped back to a barely-sub-7 minute pace. The fastest woman passed me. OK, fine. I used her as a target, found a rhythm, and brought it home in about 21 minutes. I pains me to admit this is the pace at which I have run entire marathons. But it was a good run, a nice race, and I finished 11th.

Like countless young and old Americans doing races just like this all over the country on a sunny April morning, I was outside.

The festive finish area

The festive finish area

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