Today was my first 5k of the season: The Parker Memorial Pancake Run. I decided to do this because 1) I'd never done it before and wanted to try something new (b) The missions project the proceeds benefit was a worthy cause and 4) I get a free pancake breakfast afterwards.
My finishing time was 58:46; a pretty good time to start the season with. However, for the first time ever, I finished a race dead last. The time the chick lied on her time card and how they conveniently LOST my time card at the 2013 Gamecock Gallup making me last does NOT count. I was NOT last; she was. Anyway...to be fair to myself, most races I participate in have a good number of walkers and slower runners I can have friendly competition and banter with. This race did not. When the starting horn blew, everyone took off and I was left in the dust. I gave the guys at the start line the warning that I'd see them in about an hour.
At first, it was a little disheartening to be by myself and so far away from the end of the pack. I could have been really bummed about it and not done my best, but I didn't spend the winter walking and running all those miles to get to my first race and wimp out like a wuss. So, I set my pace, cranked up the music, and enjoyed myself.
As the miles went by, I started thinking "hey, there are benefits to being last." So, in Auntie style, here are my thirteen good reasons for being last in a 5k race.
Yes, I know it's Saturday and it's supposed to be Thursday Thirteen, but the race wasn't until Saturday. Read them again on Thursday if it bothers you that much. :)
- You get your own police escort through the entire race.
- The bottled water they iced down at the beginning of the race will actually be cold by the time you get one.
- Finally someone has to wait for YOU.
- You literally get to stop traffic.
- Gives the race coordinators time to double check the race results for accuracy.
- The other runners have time to stretch and catch up with their friends at the finish line.
- The bathroom is empty by the time you need it.
- You get to hear all the songs on your mp3 player.
- You get the see the faces of the crazy people who finish and run the race again backwards. No, they ain't right and yes, I heckle them.
- The people manning the race thank you for doing the race--or are they saying "thank you for finally getting to my station so I can be done"? Well, either way, I appreciate it.
- You don't have to hear people griping about not meeting their PR--which is the sum total of the time for your FIRST mile.
- You don't get knocked down by the other runners going through the water station.
- You don't get a medal, but you come away with a fun experience and the joy of finishing ahead of everyone on the couch.