At our last New York Road Runners class, the coaches were encouraging the 16 of us in the Beginner/Intermediate class to sign up for a race. “I think you are all ready now,” said one of the coaches.
My daughter and I decided to sign up for the July 4, 2011 Independence Day Run in Bellmore, New York.
Since we only live about 20 minutes away, we left our house at 8:15 a.m. and got to the race a little early. There were police everywhere. As we parked our car under the train tracks, we saw dozens of people warming up. “I think we’re in the right place,” I said to my daughter.
The two of us got out of the car, did some gentle stretching and walked passed the start line to the finish line where the bathrooms were located. There was a huge line. The time was 8:50 a.m. and the race was going to start at 9:00 a.m.
“You only have 10 minutes to get to the start of the line,” the announcer said.
My daughter and I only inched up a little on the bathroom line that had dozens of people standing, waiting to use the toilets.
“You now have five minutes to get to the start line,” the announcer said.
We were almost at the front of the line. We did our business and after coming out, the announcer said, “It’s time to run to the start line people. We will start in three minutes.”
Both of us ran out of the bathroom, down the block to the start line and were ready! Just this past week, us two had run 22 minutes without stopping, so we knew we could do this.
A woman was already singing the National Anthem when we arrived at the start line, which was our clue that the race would start momentarily. Next to me was a man dressed as Uncle Sam and behind me I saw a woman dressed as the Statue of Liberty. I told my daughter that one of the things I love about races is that the runners make it fun by dressing for the occasion.