The Fun Part of the 5k: Cheering Others
I ran my first 5k without The Assistant in years. And I do mean years. The last 5k I ran solo was on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2012. (I don’t count the Tasty Run 5k in Addison, Texas in 2013 because that was mostly short jogs between food stations. Tasty but odd.)
The Husband and The Assistant had gone camping for the weekend, so I decided to head out on my own. I met my Saturday morning running buddy and her two kids for the Dublin, California Shamrock 5k, and set out on my own.
I ran the 5k. Really ran it. I didn’t do my usual intervals because I knew from my recent runs that my foot wasn’t going to bother me too badly if I didn’t, so I didn’t feel like I had to conserve anything. There were places where I did walk, but only for drink breaks (can’t run and drink without choking) and spots where I couldn’t easily wedge myself past the strollers, dogs and small children. And that was ok with me.
I don’t yet have an official time — I completely forgot to start my app beforehand — but it was a solid, comfortable finish. I felt good about things. And then I went back to the overpass (at the 3 mile mark, with the finish line in distant sight) to join the band of crazies and cheer on the people behind me.
I’ve done some cheering at 5k races before, and of course I went to cheer my Team in Training friends at the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco last October. But this? This was different. The band of crazies was screaming. They were hilarious. They had signs. They called out bib numbers and identifying information to encourage people.
The best part: watching people smile and laugh. Little kids who were lagging and sad perked up and ran like the wind. Older couples jostled for speedwalking superiority over each other. It was fantastic. We were apparently so loud and silly that we were the topic of discussion at the finish line and over the PA system.
Guys, this was the most fun I’ve ever had at a race. I finished my run in less than 35 minutes on the clock, but stayed another 45 to cheer in the last runners and the bike cop who brought up the rear.
Yeah, sure, I could have come home and done more with my morning (the much-needed clean-out of the pantry would be one example), but it wouldn’t be making me smile to think of it right now.
If you ever have a chance, go back and do a little cheering for the back of the pack. Be a little crazy. The sillier the better, especially in a fun run. It could make someone’s day. It definitely made mine.