Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Thrill of Victory

“You’re going for the win, aren’t you, Mom,” my son asked after I asked him to help me put together a fast-paced playlist for my iPod. 

I had never thought when I started running that I was terribly competitive.  Turns out – I am.  I trained all summer – at high altitude, no less – for the 4th Annual Run for Hope sponsored by Soroptimist International of Cody, Wyoming.  Running this race meant a lot to me.  The race raises money for the Lainey Cole Memorial Women’s Cancer Fund, named for a Cody Soroptimist who lost her battle with cancer five years ago.  The fund provides assistance to women undergoing cancer treatment.

I knew Lainey Cole.  I bonded with her when we sang “I Hope You Dance” together at a karaoke night.  It was her favorite song.  I still get teary-eyed when I hear it. 

This year was the first time I've had the time to drive the 456 miles to Cody to run the race.  We arrived at the same time a huge cold front from the north drove temperatures down into the mid-30s.  We woke on the morning of the race to sunny skies and 25 degrees.  Brrrrrrhhh!  Traded the shorts for sweats – I guess I need to break down and buy those cool running pants that the serious runners wear.

By race time it had warmed up into the 30s.  I was given the honor of singing the National Anthem at the starting gate (check another one off the bucket list), and then off we ran. 

While it’s true that as runners we primarily compete with ourselves, there’s something to be said about hearing your name called out to come to the podium to receive your ribbon and prizes worth dollars.  I was pretty excited when they called my name as first place in my age division.  My first 10K and my first win!
Reality has since set in.  There were only 28 runners in the entire 10K race, five of which were in my age division.  I need to keep working on speed if I expect to ever make as good a showing in a race in SLC.

The real winners of the Run for Hope are the Soroptimists of Cody.  At last count they had raised over $11,000 for the Lainey Cole Memorial Women’s Cancer Fund.  I am honored to have been able to play my small part in such a worthy cause.

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