It was Juanita’s first race, and my first since I was 17. I had concerns. A week before, I strained my knee on a ten mile run (that was supposed to be 13 miles.) It took all week to come back from that. I managed a couple of two-mile runs, but I have a half marathon in a week and a half.
I wore a knee brace and sweats for the first time since last spring. We took off with the second wave of runners at about 8:10. I decided to stay with Juanita, which meant I half ran and half power walked the first kilometer of the course. That made us both slow, which made our shins and calves hurt, something we haven’t had to turn with for a long time now. And then we walked a short distance to recover. But with the exception of a short stretch where the ground had become too muddy for traction, we ran most of the course. At each kilometer mark, we ran though lighted tunnels where race staff tossed florescent powder at the runners.
And then we hit the finish line. Much sooner than we expected. The time was 8:47 when we crossed the line, 37 minutes after we started. Which meant we averaged together a roughly 9 minute mile, much faster than either of us normally run. We showed up at the after race party coated in day-glo colors. Some of it got in my beard.
The Color Run is a for-profit operation that tours the country, but partners globally with the Global Poverty Project. So while they were making money, they also were raising money for charity. And not just for Global Poverty. Color Run, which had done another Cincinnati event during the recent All-Star Game, always partners with a local charity as well. This weekend supported Cincinnati’s Tri-State Bleeding Disorders Foundation. Fun, a good cause, and a great introductory race. And if you walked it, hey, you were probably still there for the party.
As for my knee, it actually felt better at the end and seems much better as I write this Sunday night.