Yesterday marked the end of my 2014 races as I ran the Legs for Literacy 5k distance with my wife/best friend, Stacey. It has really been a roller coaster of a year for me, but I can’t imagine being happier and more proud at any time this year than I was yesterday.
Running with such a large and enthusiastic bunch of runners surrounding you while talking to, encouraging and supporting the person who has been my biggest fan and supporter for the past 15 plus years was a fantastic experience. Stacey would be the first person to tell you that she is NOT a runner. She respects the sport and even loves it for what it provides me in terms of my own happiness and good mental health, but she kind of hates it. And by kind of hates it, I mean there are very few things she wouldn’t rather be doing.
That being said, Stacey had decided months ago that she would not only do the 5k at Legs, but that she would run the entire thing – no walking. Being a law student, mom of two and generally a busy person does not leave a lot of time for training. Add in some foot and ankle problems and her preparation for the big day wasn’t exactly stellar. Still, she is one of the more determined and stubborn people I know, so I knew it was going to take a lot to stop her.
We were late leaving Sackville to drive in to Moncton for the race, but still made it there with enough time to check a bag with some dry clothes (just in case) as well as chat to a few people before the start gun was fired.
Fortunately, the weather gods smiled upon us, as the rain that had been forecast all week stayed away, and even though it was a pretty crisp morning, the conditions were actually as close to perfect as you can expect in late October around here.
We made it to the 1k mark and high fived each other – Stacey was looking strong had the familiar look of determination I know so well in her eyes. Although I knew it was tough on her and she didn’t want to show how hard she was working, I could tell she wasn’t 100 percent. I wasn’t about to take my life into my own hands and tell her she should take a walk break.
As we passed the 4k mark, I knew she was going to get there and I was just busting with pride. We saw a group of the Amherst Striders stationed on the second last turn and they cheered wildly for us – such a great feeling and boost!!
Crossing the line while holding our hands together and in the air triumphantly was just amazing. Even with all of the tweaks and pains I’ve dealt with, being able to do something like this with the most important person in my life beats any PB or personal accomplishment.
We proudly collected our medals and celebrated with some chocolate milk – how sweet it is!