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my first race

October 7, 2007

Today I ran my first race at the Portland Marathon’s Kaiser Permanente 5-miler.

The day began inauspiciously when I woke up to the light of dawn.  I knew I was late and my phone confirmed that I overslept: it was 6:52am and I planned to be downtown by 7:00 to be ready for the 7:45 race start.  My supportive boyfriend (“We’re going!  We’ll make it!”) raced around the house to get ready, taking time for only the essentials before dashing out the door.  Then, when we made it downtown, our path was blocked by the Marathon runners, who started at 7:00.  Strangled in traffic, we decided I should get out of the car and run to the starting area with hopes that I would make it in time.

Lucky for me, I made it to the starting area nearly a mile later, just fine and all warmed up, and I started the race on time with my fellow 1000 runners on the 5-mile race.   I ran pretty hard during the first mile, mostly trying to find a place amongst the other runners as well as a person to follow and help me pace myself for the duration.  The day was perfect for the race: clearing sky and somewhat warm for October.

All along the route there were performers to cheer us on, including local groups Portland Taiko and the Reverb Brothers.  The performers were definitely the highlight of the run for me, and they literally put wind in my sails.  Hearing the Reverb Brothers right before reaching the fifth mile definitely improved my time!  I pushed through with a hard running pace all the way to the finish line with no pain – just glee.

I came in at 47:28, which is a 9:30-mile pace.  I’m pretty happy about that – my goal was to come in under 55 minutes.  Also, I had registered (and trained) for this race thinking it was a 5k, not a 5-mile race, meaning that two days ago I learned that I would be running two extra miles!  Overall, I placed 303rd and within my age/gender group I placed 16th.

I learned a few from my first race:

1.  Be prepared! I wasn’t ready enough for this race, logistically.  If I had mapped out my day and covered the small things like knowing how to set an alarm, my morning would have been a lot smoother.  That said…

2. You don’t need to prepare for very much.  All I really did for this race was register online, pick up my packet the day before, run a a few days a week in the months beforehand, and show up barely on time.  That’s all.  It doesn’t take a lot more than that besides the desire to do it.

3.  If anyone’s going to try to take your picture, be sure to find out where they’re going to be.  Luckily my photographer wasn’t able to find me until after the race was over, so I don’t have an embarrassing finish-line picture for you.

4. Running is fun and runners are awesome!  Who knows, maybe you’ll see me running the full Marathon next year!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2007 1:35 pm

    Congrats on finishing your first race! Your placing was amazing!!! It’s really neat that you’ve found something you enjoy so much. 🙂

  2. October 19, 2007 8:45 pm

    Great job in your first race!
    Keep on running.

    Happy trails,
    Bad Ben
    Runner and Brewer

  3. himynameiskali permalink
    June 4, 2008 8:02 am

    im really glad for you, i keep saying i want to do a run, and i have the oppurtunites, but i never take them. now i am going to run in the mountains of hong kong instead of shopping like me friends.
    you’ll see my pics later!

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