On Saturday I traveled back to our hometown to run for the second time in your race. The race created by you all those years ago to help the youth in the community and is now carried on in your memory by your family and friends.
This was the race that started my running journey last year. I was challenged by a colleague to run the 5k distance and had 5 very short weeks to be ready so I did what most people would do when attempting to get their butt in motion. I Googled “Train for 5km in 5 weeks“, printed off the training schedule, dusted off the treadmill and started running. Well, kinda running. It was hard, there were days I just didn’t want to and truth be told I was quite happy to come home from work and sit on my couch watching PVR’d episodes of Game of Thrones but I followed my schedule and finished the 5k race. I finished your 5k race with a time of 42:47 placing 46/49 in my age group, 179/208 in the female group and 179/269 overall. I had no idea what all of those numbers meant but what I did know is that race changed me. It challenged me, made me want to keep running and I wanted to do better. I became a runner at the age of 42 because of you Krista and I am sure there are others who are also now runners as well.
Since the race last year I have logged hundreds of kilometers in training runs, ran in many 5k and 10k races and completed my first half marathon two weeks ago during the Ottawa Race Weekend. That last one was hard but I’ve already signed up for my second half marathon this fall hoping to finish faster. I am competitive by nature and soon realized that running had nothing to do with being better or faster than someone else and I should stop comparing my times to others. Running means being better and faster than I was yesterday, last week, last month. I am competing against myself and no one else.
Coming back to your race this year reminded me how far I have come in such a short period of time and that I am winning my own race every day I am out there. This year I finished with a time of 30:38 placing 6/20 in my age group, 81/243 in the female group and 154/357 overall. Seeing my 6-year-old, Graeme, beaming with pride as he received his first race medal makes my heart happy and hearing him ask when he can do it again fills me with joy. Telling him who you are and explaining to him why you could not be there to run with us when he sees your photos and he says “That’s not fair.” brings tears to my eyes that I quickly blink away so he won’t see them.
Although we never met I feel like I know you, know the person you were and feel the passion you had for running when hearing your mom speak about you. You inspire people Krista, whether you wanted to or not you do, and for that I will be forever grateful.