“I wasn’t even supposed to be here today.” —Dante, Clerks (spotted on a motivational sign along New Jersey Marathon/Long Branch Half-Marathon course on Sunday, May 5)
I spotted this quote from Clerks, that quintessential Monmouth County, N.J., movie, near the end of my 6.9-mile leg of the Long Branch Half-Marathon Relay on Sunday, May 5. I almost laughed out loud, thinking about how I almost didn’t run the race, and about what a mistake that would have been.
I went into the race with no expectations, hoping to feel strong and steady but prepared to feel shaky and pukey. I ran it because my mom was there to cheer me on, and because Steve was there to run the relay with me.
And I ran so I could surprise myself, which I did.
It was a perfect day to run, in the 50s and overcast. It was a perfect course, pancake-flat and scenic, filled with bridge-crossings and spectators. And it was an incredibly well-organized event, with the perfect amount of time between corrals, well-spaced aid tables and seamless parking/expo plans.
My leg of the relay was over before I knew it—in part because I ran much faster than I could have imagined, but mostly because I was just having so much fun. As Steve and I hugged and chatted at the transition point, I kept thinking: I could run more! In my mind, that’s the best way to feel upon finishing a race: hungry for more, and eager for the next challenge.
I hadn’t even planned to check our results. You can imagine my surprise when Steve told me that we finished pretty well, 11 out of 65 teams in the mixed-open category. Isn’t it nice when results are just the icing on the race cake?
11 20287 Steve Is My Llama MIXED OPEN 1:55:43