What Makes a Great Race?

When I first signed up for the Run for H2O race, I thought it was a timed race.  I don’t know why, but I just did.  And I think had I realized it at the time that it wasn’t, I probably wouldn’t have even bothered but what’s done is done and I’ve ran the race.  And I have to say it was probably one of the most enjoyable races I’ve been to.  I can’t say that I truly enjoyed the route.  A good portion of it was on not-so-scenic road.  The last 5 KM was on the trail along the Fraser River which I did enjoy.  The weather was fantastic!  Maybe a little bit too hot for a mid-morning race but it’s the first day of summer!  It can’t be the first day of summer without glorious sunshine!  The volunteers were great.  Each one of them had a smile and a cheer as you ran by.  Thank goodness for all the water stations!  At one point, I thought I would need to stop at a first aid station, since my knee was bothering me but I persevered!  I got a high five from a complete stranger, just as I crossed the finish line and then a bottle of water.  So that was super nice, about the high five.  And what truly made this the best race so far, was at less than 200 m to the finish line, I was greeted with cheers from my two biggest fans:  Big Sister Z and Little Brother Z!  I was so surprised to see them that I think I almost stopped.  I think I might’ve at least slowed down because I vaguely remember Sister C waving at me and telling me to keep going.  And with that enthusiasm and hearing the kids shout out for Aunty, I had renewed lungs and legs to push me on to the finish line.  And even though I finished this 10 KM race at 1hr and 14 minutes, it was still the best race I’ve been to.  And what made it even better was when Sister and Brother Z ran around the bend chasing after me and gave me a great big hug, thereby preventing me from getting sick and passing out.  I love you guys!  Even better was when they told their mom that they wanted to run in the 50 m Toddler Dash.  I was so excited when they got their bibs.  Gosh it was so cute.  Watching all the little toddlers race across the grass to their own little finish line was just so great to see.  All these little athletes!  Everyone was a winner.  Stickers Galore!  Better than bananas, chia bread and chocolate milk.  Well maybe not better than chocolate milk.  And all these kids loved it so much, they ran it a second time!

So I didn’t beat my time from the previous race, in fact I added an extra two minutes to my time, but it’s still the greatest race I’ve done so far, mainly because of the volunteers along the way, the other racers that cheered you on in the end and because I had two unexpected little enthusiastic racers cheering me on to the finish line.

Proud Mamma and her two little racers!

Proud Mamma and her two little racers!

These are my two best reasons why this is the best race ever!

These are my two best reasons why this is the best race ever!

Winners!  Every one of them!

Winners! Every one of them!

I'll be number one next year, when my legs are longer!

I’ll be number one next year, when my legs are longer!

I ran like Gandalf told me to!

I ran like Gandalf told me to!

These legs were built for running!

These legs were built for running!

Still the best race ever, even if I did add an extra two minutes to my 10 km time.

Still the best race ever, even if I did add an extra two minutes to my 10 km time.

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