A couple of nights ago our town had its annual 5K run. My girlfriend and I debated whether we wanted to run again this year. In years past we ran but with each year we’d see our time go steadily up — not the direction you hope for. At the last minute we decided to go ahead and run it after all. We figured let’s run to finish, lets’ not worry about our running time. She picked up our entry tags and numbers and in the evening we walked into the center of Millburn where they hold the race.
I must say, regardless of the outcome, its a great event. There’s usuall anywhere from 1500 to 2000 runners and then at least several hundred spectators. Its a lot of fun. The streets are all closed off to traffic. People line the sidewalks and everyone is cheering you on — a real festive atmosphere and something that brings the whole community together. At 8:00 o’clock the starting bell went off and the race began. We tried to pace ourselves, keeping it relatively slow and steady. The race loops through the town twice and at first the field was very tight and packed in with runners. But soon, the real runners grab the lead and the field opens up. My girlfriend and I stayed together the entire time. We enjoyed our run. We people watched. We saw our neighbors and friends. Sons and daughters of our friends who had grown since our last meeting. We waved to the spectators lining the streets. And when we crossed the finish line about 30 minutes later (nothing to brag about it — but hey, we did finish) we kept right on going toward the booths lined with cups of water. We drank and splashed and poured water on ourselves and chatted with everyone comparing our war stories.
When we walked back home about an hour later, tired, sore and very wet and sweaty we looked at each other and were very happy we did it.