I signed up for this race back in March to INITIALLY run as a fun race in June because I am passionate about the cause the race is benefitting. The race is benefitting this girl named Taylor, who has a rare disease called MAST Cell Activation Disorder and she has started an organization called Super T’s Mast Cell Foundation, Inc. a non-profit organization providing medical and living expenses to those living with the rare disease. The reason why I am so passionate about this race is the girl, Taylor, was a leader in FCA at her local high school, Upper Merion High School. She was leading her senior year and then had to stop coming to school because the symptoms of the disease that she has wasn’t diagnosed yet and sadly kept her from living her dream of attending college at Messiah College.
So here I am signed up for a race support an awesome cause and I was using it as a benchmark to see how my training is going for the SeaWheeze Half Marathon and Project 1:59.
Addie (a girl who leads FCA in my area and is a runner) decided to run the race as well so we went to pick up our bibs on Thursday.
I picked up Addie at 6:00am and we drove to Norristown Farm Park. The park is the place I did my 12 mile long run last weekend. We met up with another one of my students named Kate who was also running the 15k. She had run her first half marathon 2 weeks prior and was excited to run another one and get another piece of bling added to her new collection.
Kate was going to dress up as Wonder Woman then decided not to last minute.
We were waiting for the race to begin and we spotted this amazing truck!
The race started at 8:00am and it was cloudy and humid the whole race. They were calling for thunderstorms and thankfully it didn’t rain during the race except for a little spit towards the end of it.
The 15k was two loops around Norristown Farm Park. It was a little frustrating because the 5k and 15k both started at the same time so it was difficult to stay on the pace that my coach had set out for me to do which was a 9:00 minute pace. I am grateful that I was smart enough to know to slow down my pace because I had started out a bit to fast the first half mile.
The middle of the first loop at mile 4 had one HUGE STEEP hill that was so difficult to get up, I took the advice my coach said and just got up the hill, recovered, then settled back into my pace. Thankfully after the hill there was a nice wooded trail that had a great decline where you were able to feel comfortable and speed back up. Then you looped back toward the start up another hill and went around the loop a second time. The huge hill ended up being at mile 8 during the second loop and I honestly wanted to die. I just kept telling myself to get up and it then the rest of the race was smooth sailing. So that is what I did. Thankfully during the last hill that headed toward the finish I got a nice push up it.
I finished with an official time of 1:24:02 which is a solid 4 minute PR which I was totally excited about. I was a bit upset when I realized I got 4th in my age group so I just missed placing, but it was by 2 minutes so there was no way I was going to be able to catch up to the 3rd place finisher. But I was the 8th overall female finisher as well, so that gave me a smile too!
I was so excited that I was able to run the race with these girls and spend some time with them. I can’t wait to see where running takes them and how they learn and grow from the challenges it brings (and the joy!).
What race are you running next?