The smiles, the high fives, and watching others reach their goals makes for a pretty awesome morning. Today was one of those days.
I had the amazing privilege to pace the 2 hour half at the Snohomish River Run this morning with another member of my running group. I remember the day I finally achieved that goal of breaking the 2 hour barrier. It brought with it a sense of accomplishment and joy that only someone who has gone after a certain goal for a long time can appreciate. So today it was great to be able to be the rabbit others chased as they attempted that goal as well.
The first mile is always a little bit dicey, as you need to settle into your pace and also manage the crowds from a race start. A little bobing and weaving and we were under way. I had talked to a few of the runners around me before we started and heard their goals and knew we might have a pretty good pack. Thankfully through all the weaving, we did actually keep quite a few with us as we passed each mile marker chatting away to both to distract and enjoy those miles.
At about mile 9 the group was doing great and a few of the men with us were beginning to believe they might actually get that elusive PR. Mile 12 came and the mile marker felt way off and my pacing partner and I were worried we were going to miss the mark. Adjustment made and pace increased just ever so slightly to come in for the final push. As we came up and over the bridge and a left turn and there was the finish before us. That is where I encouraged the few to dig down deep and just go for it! Go claim that victory that was theirs.
Then we crossed the finish line. 1:59:47 according to my watch. Success!
The best part was having two of the guys come find me to thank me for helping them finish in under 2 hours. I was even asked if I could have my picture taken so that he could remember the moment. Success #2 helping another meet their goal.