This is the second year that I’ve ran in the Brian Harms, a memorial event that takes place every Mothers Day in Grande Prairie.
Last year I did the 8 k & had a miserable time. I’d ran my first half marathon in early April, & felt like I was becoming a runner (yay!) . . . except then I stopped running. Why do I do that to myself? I ran once between the half & the 8 k & on race day, a giant hill in Muskosippi Park almost did me in. I finished, but it wasn’t an event I felt very good about.
This year, I had a better plan. I signed up for the 5 k & was in much better running shape. Unfortunately, the starting location of the race was moved from the South Bear Creek Pavilion to behind the Eastlink Centre, which is basically a sad grassy area off a parking lot with a view of backyard fences. South Bear Creek, on the other hand, had beautiful trees & trails & bathrooms! I can’t be the only runner who gets the nervous pees. While we ended up on a similar route to last year, I really hope it gets changed back. It was also so cold & windy that the DJ that was supposed to play music never showed up! The whole thing was pretty disorganized due to the weather . . . the speeches & instructions were given inside the Eastlink (which we had no way of knowing) & then we all headed outside.
I stalled until the very last minute with taking off my sweater, & tossed it to my Mom as the race began. Just like last year, my Mom got up early on Mothers Day to come & cheer me on at the Brian Harms. She must have been freezing standing around for over half an hour, but stuck it out like a champ. After years of watching my hockey, volleyball, & basketball games, it’s nice to know that I haven’t lost my biggest fan.
I ran pretty well, & even enjoyed myself once we turned into the park where the trees provided some protection from the wind. I stopped to walk once, up a large hill near the end, then tried to finish as strong as possible. The wind was blowing completely against me the last kilometre or so, & it even started to rain. There were a couple of little girls who were struggling to make any headway against the wind, & I was honestly scared it might blow them away. I tried to give them some encouragement, but the poor kids looked so dejected. Considering the circumstances, I was happy with my time & very happy to be heading into a warm vehicle.
Unfortunately, I just missed placing #3 in my age category & receiving a medal. It was some consolation that the fastest time in the whole event was recorded by a girl in the 20-29 year old female group. For the past several years she has ran for the college, & was placed in a special elite category. Last year she graduated, so is no longer sponsored, & can run with the rest of us. Darn! I’m so close to receiving a placement medal for top three. For now, I’m trusting the process & my progress. One of these times I’m going to get it.
There’s two really great parts about running the Brian Harms: I get to spend time with my Mom on Mothers Day & I know there’s a brunch reservation with hot coffee & waffles waiting for us afterwards!