I’ve been thinking how to write my Mountains2Beach Race Review for a while now….I wanted to talk about how amazing of a day it was, how I almost fell apart at the end, and was saved by my RunFriend Tara, or how this felt like redemption after my failed race at CIM in December…

But really, here are the things I took away from that race:

Racing is for everyone:
This is really one of the things I MOST love about running. Almost anyone can do it, but we can all participate somehow. Whether it’s running a 1 mile race with your dog (totally did that) and your family, to exerting yourself for 4-5+ hours on a marathon course, there is something for everyone. And if you’re not into running, cheering at races is sometimes MORE fun than the race itself.

Running is NOT an individual sport: I tell EVERYONE in EVERY running program we host the same thing, “Running is an individual sport, but we do not have to get to the Start or Finish lines alone” – and that’s so true. Running really is one of the most social sports out there. In any race, you’ll fine someone your pace, you can strike up a conversation with anyone, you can train as a group. Yes, you can totally lace up and head out solo ANY TIME (which is also awesome), but running is a sport where human connection is constant. I cannot count the number of awesome humans I’ve met through running.

No goals are the same: My goal for this race was to run 26.2 miles under 4 hours (which is far from the 3:35 I would need to qualify for Boston this year). I know women who were gunning for sub 3, others aiming for sub 5, and many who just wanted to go out and put their best foot forward. There is nothing wrong with having your own goals, and no issue that that goal isn’t something fast. You don’t have to race with any spectacular, earth shattering goal, you can race to just try to lay out the best version of yourself that day (this is why I actually LOVE coaching beginning/intermediate runners).

I love running: Not earth shattering news here, but I never take the opportunity to push myself to be my best for granted. I am grateful for running, I am grateful for how it has enriched my life with good health, good friends, and good memories. I am grateful for the opportunity to coach other runners. Running is one thing that I am committed to giving myself to because it gives so much to me.

Every body is a runner body: I think one of the thing is love the most about this sport is that every race we tear down the stereotypes of what a “runner body” is. We can all wear crop tops (or run topless if you’re a dude) regardless of whether we have ripped 6 packs or are sponsored by some big name company. We come in all shapes, sizes, weights, abilities, paces, etc. BUT WE ARE ALL RUNNERS.

So yea – the race was great – I ran 3:56 which I’m damn proud of, but I’m more humbled by the journey and the connection of getting to that finish line than the time itself…it’s simply icing on a beautiful and delightful cake.