ZION HALF

I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS RACE HAS COME AND GONE. I HAD BEEN LOOKING FORWARD TO IT FOR MONTHS AND IN AN INSTANT IT WAS OVER. I WENT INTO TRAINING THIS YEAR A BIT TIMID DUE TO THE FRACTURE IN MY TIBIA I OBTAINED LAST SPRING. ZION WAS MY FIRST LENGTHY RACE SINCE, AND I FELT GREAT. WELL, PRETTY GREAT. THE ELEVATION DID MESS WITH ME A LITTLE, RESULTING IN NOT MY FASTEST RACE. BUT IT’S HARD TO BE UPSET WHEN YOU HAVE THE MOUNTAINS AND CLIFFS OF ZION NATIONAL PARK GUIDING THE WAY TO THE FINISH.

THIS RACE DIDN’T START AS PICTURE PERFECT AS SOME HAVE IN THE PAST. I WOKE UP TO A MIX OF RAIN AND SNOW AND A TEXT ALERT EXCLAIMING “VERY MUDDY STARTING LINE”. I GOT TO THE CORALS ABOUT 40 MINUTES PRIOR TO THE START OF THE RACE ONLY TO FIND “VERY MUDDY” WAS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. IF YOU DARED TO STEP ON THE GRASS, UTAH CLAY INSTANTLY CAKED ONTO THE SOLE OF YOUR SNEAKER, CREATING A THREE INCH COATING THAT SEEMED TO WEIGH A TON. I TOOK ONE STEP AND TURNED BACK TOWARD THE ASPHALT. I SCRAPED MY SHOES CLEAN, KEPT MOVING AND STRETCHING, AND BEGAN THE RACE AS THE WINTERY MIX FELL AWAY.

IT TOOK A COUPLE MILES FOR ME TO FALL INTO MY STRIDE AND FOR THOSE FIRST SEVERAL MILES IT SEEMED THE SUN WOULD MAKE AN APPEARANCE. BUT AS I KEPT RUNNING, I REALIZED I WAS ONLY CHASING THE STORM TO THE FINISH. BT THE TIME I GOT TO MILE 12, IT WAS RAINING AGAIN. THE TOWN OF SPRINGDALE WELCOMED THE RUNNERS AS WE COASTED THROUGH THE RAIN AND FOG. I CROSSED THE FINISH LINE WITH A SMILE AND RECEIVED A MEDAL SECONDS LATER. THE WEATHER DID NOT CLOUD THE EXPERIENCE ONE BIT.

IT WAS OVER BUMBLEBERRY PANCAKES I REALIZED I CAME IN THE TOP FIVE OF MY AGE GROUP, WHICH WAS PRETTY COOL. EVEN SITTING AT BREAKFAST I COULD HARDLY BELIEVE IT WAS OVER. I’M ALREADY CONTEMPLATING WHICH RACE OF THE VACATION RACE SERIES I WANT TO DO NEXT. FOR NOW, I HAVE THE NYC HALF THIS SUNDAY, MARCH 20TH TO LOOK FORWARD TO. I’M HOPING THIS ONE DOESN’T GO BY AS FAST!