For the third year in a row I have run the Canada Army Run in our Nation’s Capital. This year, however, was different, special if you will.
As a runner, and all runners do it, we tend to announce to everyone how amazing life is as a runner; we recount the benefits of running to friends and perfect strangers. The people who are around you often tend to get the “running” speech more often. That is why it didn’t take long for my fiancé to start running with me.
After a year of on and off running, my fiancé started to whisper words of wanting to complete a half marathon. Well, you could only image the excitement and pride I felt when I caught wind of these inspirational words.
Around the same time, a client, Textron Systems Canada, had announced they would be sponsoring the Canada Army Run. Naturally, I was one of the first to volunteer to run on the Textron team, but I rarely do races by myself. That night my fiancé learned that he was registered for his first half marathon.
The training went well. We didn’t train as much as I would hope, but we managed to get some good long runs in.
Race day finally came, and as always, too soon. Alain and I got in our running gear with our fancy Textron team shirts, and without planning, *cough*not*cough*, we matched from head to toe.
We had decided prior to the race that we would run with a pace bunny. It was my first time running with a pace bunny, and after the experience, certainly not my last. Following a pace bunny made it easy to enjoy the race and people watch yet still keep a good pace.
Alain and I couldn’t get over the amount of people that showed up to run that morning, over 16,000 runners to be exact. With every turn I would look over my shoulder and see a sea of people.
Before we knew it, we were in the last 5k of the race. The race had gone by so fast, and as corny as it sounds, it is true, time does go by fast when you are having fun. We still had quite a bit of energy so decided to pick up the pace and move ahead of our pace bunny.
When we turned at Pretoria Bridge, you could feel the excitement. I held Alain’s hand and reminded him of the amazing accomplishment he was about to finish. We saw the finish line, and as per our tradition, we sprinted to the finish line, finishing hand in hand.
This race meant more than just another half marathon, but it symbolized the beginning of the rest of our lives together, because you see, Alain had proposed to me two days earlier.
A race is like life, you start off full of energy, but as the race progresses and as life settles, your body falls in to a routine and you get used to the aches and pains. But routine doesn’t last forever, when you hit that first hill, life can get difficult, but you push on, swinging your arms and repeating, this is not a hill, this is not a hill. The feeling of climbing your first hill is exhilarating which gives you enough energy to move through the next portion of life. And then, the cycle continues with the next hill.
Despite the ups and downs of the race through life, I know I chose to run with the right person. And no matter what, we will finish the race together hand in hand.