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MADE IT!!!!! (With Time To Spare)

by Mark Evans

Friday evening was a very interesting time for me.  For some reason I was unclear about, I was in a pack of 2000 people preparing to run the Irvin 5K in Duluth. 

My Fiance' had mentioned doing it with her back a few months ago - and like an idiot I agreed.  (The things we Men do for a Pretty Girl!!!)

I'm 46 and I refer to this stage in my life as "The Tender Years." 

Meaning:  I feel very Tender after a lot of physical activity; so needless to say I was a bit apprehensive about this event.

So, there I am standing in a sea of humanity.....waiting.  It was about 55 degrees with fog and a whisper of wind coming in off of Lake Superior as we got started.  Now, I do like to trail run and I can do a 5K pretty easily when I'm out in the woods.  This however was on pavement which has always caused me issues, especially in my calves.

And train for this event - Oh Hell No!!!  I ran twice I think to get ready for this....both of those times only going about 2 miles telling myself "That's good enough." 

Now, as this blob of people starts to move off into the fog I wasn't feeling quite so sure.

We rounded the D.E.C.C. and headed for Railroad Street and then turned West.  We were clopping along at a pretty good pace; and I was noticing more and more people slowing down to a walk as we passed them by which was encouraging. 

Now, they do something that's very cruel to the runners during these types of races that do a great job of erasing any and all confidence within the novice runner - me.  They post each individual mile!  "Only one down" my inner couch potato screamed as we got to the first mile post.  I could just taste the double cheeseburger and Michelob Golden Draft I was fantasizing about.

The other thing they do is they make the route look real easy on the map!!


Take a look at the William A. Irvin Ore Boat on this map!!!  The ship is 700 feet long which, if you were to use the ship as scale, shows that this race should be a lot easier than it really is!! 

Anyway, back to the adventure. 

We did make the first mile in 11 minutes - which shocked me.  Not a pace we were going to keep mind you, as we did slow down to a light jog about 2 miles in. 

Meaning:  We walked.

My goal was to run my age in years which gets me back to the finish line in 46 minutes.  But, thanks to some urging from the spectators (along with a few verbal jabs from my Fiance', Dawn) I am proud to tell you I made my first 5K race in 39 minutes and 12 seconds.

Tender?  Yes. 

Sore the next day?  Oh, Yes!

Now here's the unbelievable thing:  I wanna do another one!!