A smile has been plastered on my face since about 8:10 yesterday morning. That is roughly when the Army Ten Miler start line came into view, and I knew I was on the brink of accomplishing a long-term goal.
While the National Anthem played over the loudspeakers and I spotted runners sporting t-shirts with the names of loved ones stationed overseas, my eyes welled with tears. Then, I watched the courageous Wounded Warriors begin running their races and I nearly lost it in the middle of my very crowded corral. People weren’t kidding when they talked about the emotional intensity of the Army Ten Miler… that combined with my own disbelief that I was finally at the starting line of this race made me a little teary-eyed.
Luckily, that didn’t last long. As soon as I crossed the starting line, I felt a huge smile creep across my face. It hasn’t gone away since.
The Army Ten Miler has been crossed off my list of goals. I finished in 1:22:49 – more than 7 minutes faster than my time goal. Kudos to the race organizers for putting on such a fantastic event, to all the volunteers and spectators who made 10 miles feel easy, and – most importantly – the men and women in our armed services who make physical, mental, and emotional sacrifices for all of us on a regular basis.