I first moved to Lynchburg from Louisiana in September 2004. At the time I was training for the New York Marathon so an obvious conversation piece with just about everyone I met was the Virginia 10 Miler. "Did you run this year?" was one of the first questions asked. Sadly, I was en route to Lynchburg that weekend so I didn't make it for the race. I was determined to run it the next year.
I have no idea what happened to 2005 – but needless to say I had fallen out of training mode. It was the same story for 2006. I watched the race from the sidelines and thought, "Why didn't I train?"
2007 was going to be my year! I started training for the 10 Miler and The Richmond Marathon over the summer. I was newly engaged and thought it would be a great way to get in shape for my wedding day.
A week before the race I ran into a door chasing my cat and broke my pinky toe. I could barely walk let alone run. I missed my opportunity AGAIN!
When we decided to move back this year one of my first assignments was Virginia 10 Miler coverage. I thought maybe I'd run this year – but wasn't totally committed. After all, it was July, I was unpacking our house, getting settled into a new job, blah, blah, blah -- keep listing the excuses.
I met the Draney family for my first 10 Miler story to kick off our coverage. They had run several races as a couple and their girls were going to take part in the Amazing Mile kids run. Rene Draney told me I had to run the 10 Miler – I just had to. So that day I decided I'd go for it.
Over the last 6 weeks I've been out there running the hills like a lot of you – hoping to condition myself enough for race day. I'd been running regularly in Myrtle Beach – but getting used to the hills in Lynchburg again was tough.
I've been so excited about this year's 38th annual Virginia 10 Miler I could hardly sleep! Packet pickup was magical! There were people every where – the kids races sold out and downtown was crawling with runners!
Saturday I jumped out of bed and got dressed. I grabbed a jacket thinking it might be chilly – but it was the PERFECT morning! I met my sister-in-law, aunt and cousin at E.C. Glass and we started the race as a family. That was a very special moment.
Thing is, those moments kept coming! Watching the Blue Ridge Mountains as I ran down Langhorne Road was awe inspiring. Listening to the first band fill the morning with music jump started my pace. Then, there were the people on the side cheering us on! Wow! I ran by my family along Langhorne Road – high fived my husband and son. Rivermont Avenue was filled with crowds clapping and offering more support. Before I knew it I was at the finish line.
The hills were hard … and run was long … but I finished with a smile on face. 1:18:55 is much better than I thought I'd finish in. I can only attribute that to the magic of race day – the crowds, the music and the euphoric feeling of finally getting to run the Virginia 10 Miler.