Race Name: Fort For Fitness
Distance/Type: Meghan: 10k/Mark: Half Marathon
Race Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Race Date: September 28, 2013
Finish Time: 1:10:43
Finish Place (Age Division & Overall): 90/183 & 925/1,834
Mark’s Finish Time: 2:07: 52
Mark’s Finish Place (Age Division & Overall): 134/203 & 1,269/2,515
This was my second time running in a Fort For Fitness event and it was Mark’s first. This race is so well organized, is a beautiful route through Fort Wayne, and overall it is one of the most enjoyable races we run each year. Plus, as a bonus they have incredibly cool medals for all of their race distances!
I was originally signed up to run the half marathon; however, due to some health issues I had been experiencing I decided that I was going to drop down to running the 10k — as did my Mom. Mark and my Dad both stuck with running the half marathon.
It started out as a cool morning as we waited for the race(s) to start. Mark and Dad started before us. After watching them start we ran back into the stadium to watch my Aunt Peggy and Aunt Mary finish their 4 mile race they were running in. After seeing them cross the finish line Mom and I dropped our bags off at the gear check table and then took off for the starting gate.
Our plan was to stick together throughout the race; however, when running with over 1,800 other runners that can be incredibly hard to actually do. The starting gun went off and slowly but surely everyone took off from the starting corals. Mom and I were able to run the first 1/4 mile together until the route turned a corner and then we lost each other.
This was my first race where I ran alone and music free — and I have mixed feelings on how I liked it. Part of me really enjoyed listening to my feet hit the pavement; however, there was a big part of me that wished I had my tunes to listen too. Music is such a big motivation for me when running and there are times, specially during a race, where that motivation is really needed and helpful! The first few miles went by quick and I felt great. My goal was to finish before the 1:20:00 mark. I know, I know — you are probably thinking 1:20:00 for a 10k, holy crap that is slow — and it is. However, like I said I was experiencing some health issues so that was a realistic goal.
Around the 3-4 mile markers the half marathon course and the 10k course come together and everyone runs the last 2-3 miles together. I knew I was moving at a pretty good pace when I got to the point where the courses came together and my Dad was only 10 yards ahead of me on the half marathon course. I continued to buckle down and plug along. A 3/4 of a mile from the finish line I turned a corner and I saw Mark ahead of me — about 50-75 yards ahead of me. Using what energy I had left I yelled out his name as loudly as I could once. Luckily he heard me, turned around, noticed me, smiled and waved! I knew he wasn’t going to slow down to let me catch up to him, so I gave a little burst of energy and tried to catch up to him. Oh boy, was that a mistake!! My legs were already tired and that just took about every bit of energy/leg strength I had left in me.
I pushed through the last 3/4 of a mile and when I rounded the corner and headed down onto the out field I just kept telling myself — almost there, almost there, almost there. The more I have run the more I have learned — if you have enough energy and strength left to really sprint as fast as you can to the finish then you haven’t ran hard enough throughout the race. Well, for me that saying was true! I only had enough left in me to cross the finish line running but there is no way I had anything left to sprint.
Mark had finished 5 minutes before me and he was waiting at the back of the finish line for me. I was so happy to see him — I ran up and jumped into his arms giving him a huge hug and kiss.
I was so proud of myself for finishing 10 minutes under my goal time and I was so proud of Mark for running his second half marathon in under 60 minutes!! After we finished hugging we got our finishers medals, went through the food tent and took off to have our finishers photo taken.
After that we went to find Mom, Dad, and everyone else in the family who there running/supporting. Overall it was another great race and one that Mark and I will probably run again next year!
And just on a side note — here are photos of Mom and Dad!