I had a brief conversation on Twitter today with a runner that was working on getting into shape and looking to run her first 5K in the spring. This made me think back to my very first race – The Herndon Turkey Trot 5K in Herndon, Virginia in 2009.
Back in 2009 I was freshly graduated from college and looking for something to fill my time/distract myself from the terrible job economy. I was doing an internship in DC and living with my parents to save money and I decided I would do a 5K. I had continued to run the summer after my senior year of high school when lacrosse ended and ran occasionally in college, but for the most part I was starting from scratch. I can’t remember how many days a week I would run, but I loved (and still loved) running through the park and into the historic downtown area of my parent’s town. I chose the Herndon Turkey Trot because it was close by and a Saturday afternoon race. My mom went with me to the race and I remember it like it was last week.
First we couldn’t find the rec center and I ended up calling my friend (who later was one of my bridesmaids!) that was from Herndon to ask her where to find it. When we finally found it, we were still early enough for me to check in and hang out before the race start. The race course took us down the street and around a golf course (or park?) and back to the community center. I ran to Switchfoot’s “Hello Hurricane” album the entire short race. My mom had cut across the course to cheer me on, but didn’t make it back fast enough and missed my finish! It took about 40 minutes to find my mom after that, but I was thrilled to have finished in under 30 minutes. It makes me laugh to think back to that race because I don’t think I ever imagined that in a few years I’d be running 13.1 miles!
What was your first race? Did you go at it alone or train with friends? What made you decide to do a race?