It was a beautiful morning. Fifty five degrees and a light breeze. It was a great morning for a run. A couple hundred people were wandering around doing their own thing to get ready for whichever race they happened to be running. The races taking place, all starting at the same time were:
5K Heavy Weight Run
1 Mile Fur Trader’s Run (in period costume)
1 Mile Kids Run (12 yrs and younger)
Among the "I was there" t-shirts that I saw on several of the people, one stood out to me more than all the others. One from this year’s Fargo Marathon. It was very nice to see.
All the race routes were out and back and the 11k went through Ft. Buford before heading back. At around 9am the gent over the loudspeaker said, “On your marks…” then a cannon on the hilltop detonated. It was quite spectacular. The race started off downhill for about 100 yards, and then the next quarter mile was a steady uphill climb. The entire course gently rolled up and down small hills.
I was planning on starting out slow and steady, but no matter how much I train, I started out way too fast and the first hill kicked my butt. After the first mile, I could have sworn that I had gone two. I am sure that once I get a few more of these runs under my belt, I will learn to control it a bit better. It was at that one mile mark that I convinced myself to settle down. What was my hurry? I was not going to win the bloody race. In fact, the only person I was racing against was myself. I was battling those dang inner demons, which mine are quite formidable at times. I convinced myself to just sit back and enjoy the experience. I took it easy and when I needed to walk, even though I was hoping not to have to do so, I walked. I just kept moving forward. I reached the half way point, where thankfully they had a water station setup. I grabbed my cup of water, turned around and started the trek back. When I reached that quarter mile plus mark, which was the uphill climb on the way out, it was a pleasant treat towards the end. I picked up my pace and pushed for the finish. The last 100 yard hill did not even slow me down that much. My final time?
I beat my FM 5k by 2 minutes 36 seconds! In the Heavy Weight division I placed 4th. Just one spot out of a medal, but I did not care. If I would have signed up for the regular 5k run, in my age group I would have placed 2nd or 3rd I think.
All in all it was a wonderful experience. The volunteers were great and afterwards they had energy bars, Gatorade and buckets of fruit.
There were probably 20-30 kids that competed, which all received medals, and the Fur Trader’s run, there were two participants. One lady dressed up in what looked like authentic Native American regalia and a gent dressed in full French mountain man gear right down to the tuque.
If I have the opportunity, I believe I would do this race again next year.