Drama at a Fun Run
So, I went on holiday to Canada (where I was born) to stay with my grandmother, who lives in rural Nova Scotia. It’s a very small, close knit country community. I happened to be there during their week-long ‘Welcome Home to Brookfield’ festival. There were activities going on around the community all week and it culminated in the Whing Ding – a country fayre with all sorts of games. It’s a real good time. Any time I’ve been back there, it becomes my mission in life to win a Whing Ding T Shirt. I have never triumphed, but I never give in.
Anyhoo, I give you that preamble to lay the foundations for my tale. While browsing through the leaflet for the ‘Welcome Home to Brookfield’ festivities, I noticed they were having a 5K fun run on the Saturday. Naturally, I thought I’d get in on that.
I showed up Saturday morning along with about 35-40 others. As someone who is used to doing big races in big cities, it was kind of cool for this tiny group of people to be the entire race. I’d been running every day since I’d been there and hadn’t seen anyone else out hitting the streets getting miles in. In rural areas, just out of convenience (as everything is so spaced out), people will drive mostly everywhere, so it’s safe to say, this probably isn’t the most active area.
I knew they were giving out prizes for top finishers. I had no clue what the prizes were, but my hope was that they’d be the highly coveted Whing Ding T Shirts. I figured, if I could get among the top 3 female finishers, this could finally be my shot to get one.
It was a two lap course, starting at the school. I was in the leading pack right from the off and there was a good long gap between me and the next person. I did the first lap and felt strong. Half way through the second lap, I could see that there were only two women ahead of me, so I could definitely bring this thing home in third. The Whing Ding T Shirt could be mine! (I still didn’t know if that was actually the prize, or indeed if it was the top three finishers who got it, but that’s the hope I was clinging to).
At about 4K, I could hear footsteps behind me getting closer. I glance behind me. It’s a girl in a purple top. Just hold firm, I tell myself, you got this. I overtake a guy in front of me. Purple top girl is right on my heels. I glance over my shoulder and get another look at her. All of a sudden, with the thought of the Whing Ding T Shirt possibly slipping away from me, a crazy competitive streak took over me. ‘This bitch!’ I said in my head as I gave purple top girl a mean side eye and dug in again.
Now we see the school, the finishing point. I’m really pushing myl pace and starting to feel a little queasy but I’ve gotta hold on! I’m dreading the final straight because I know purple top girl is gonna want a sprint finish and I don’t know if I have it in me. But the T Shirt, man! The T Shirt! I gotta do this.
As we round the corner onto the final straight, I glance behind me once again and give purple top girl a look that says ‘Oh, it’s ON bitch!’ and I take off. But she’s right there next to me, arms pumping, breath heavy. I push and push but now totally feel like I’m going to puke.
Then it occurs to me, I don’t wanna be the out of towner who came and took the local rural 5K fun run a little too seriously and puked and passed out as I crossed the line. I had nothing left to give, purple top girl edges past me and I play Galen Rupp to her Mo Farah, crossing just a couple of seconds after her. It was a fight to the finish, but credit where credit’s due, she deserved it. I should point out also, in no way is this girl a bitch – I don’t even know her and I rarely even use the word bitch. I’m sure she’s lovely!
I ended up finishing 8th overall and was the 4th woman home. That will most likely be the one and only time I will come top ten in anything running related in my life, so I am clinging to that victory with all my might. Also, it turned out that it was only the people who came first in their category who got prizes and the prizes were not Whing Ding T shirts, so had I pushed through for third, I would’ve been sorely disappointed.
My prize was that I got a PB though. I finished in 24:54. I don’t recall ever doing a 5K in under 26 minutes. Considering I have literally only just started running again after all the cycling this year, I am pretty crazy proud of that right there. Never would I have thought one of my best running performances would come while on holiday in the country out in Canada in a small town 5K.
Open yourself up to new experiences people – it may just give you the push you need.