My excitement level was through the roof about this race. Although drama didn't stray too far away- I didn't realize that the weekend of the race collided with work events so my heart was broken to see I wouldn't be able to go. I bargained and pleaded to do anything so I could be at this race. With faith, I was clearly able to make it. I'm still beyond thankful for people doing what they could do to make this possible for me.
I'm not even sure where to begin this race recap other than my excitement. But what I do know- my sister and I were getting ready with buying Panther tutu's, face tattoos and tank tops. The weather for recent weeks were in the 60's-80's - it would be perfect! My luck never last hugely long- so when we arrived to the date with rain storms and 50's - out the window went our crazy outfits in favor of warmth and rain proof apparel. It was suppose to storm pretty heavily all day - but somehow- the rain literally split right as the race began. There were some Panther Gods. A slight sprinkle throughout the race- I'll take over the storm.
Our beginning was one of my favorite parts of the race. The National Anthem usually always gives me chills either way, no different at the beginning of every race. But just as they were playing the National Anthem, their I Pod decided to die. So all of the race participants sang it instead. It just seemed like a unified moment before we took off on to the winding paths of the University. Thankfully there was a cap on this race, the paths- at the beginning was a tight space until people started spreading out.
I wasn't sure how I would do in this race, with all the mixed emotions prior to the race- I kind of abandoned running for a few days plus I haven't ran 4 miles in a long while either. I also figured I'd be running it alone, if I needed to take a few walk breaks- I would. But my sister said she was coming to run with me, plus she hadn't been running consecutively either- so we stayed side by side through the entirety of the race.
We went at a good steady pace, almost conquered a hill at mile 2. I knew I should've just listened to my sister to keep pushing but for some reason, I walked. Continued with the steady pace for the rest of the race with maybe another one or two small walk breaks in between. (Funny also, around this time in the race we actually ended up by multiple people from our hometown meaning we all finished around the same time.) Once I saw our destination within site, there was no stopping me. Which brings the best part of the whole thing; coming in the dome through the tunnel where the football players roar on through. It was such a rush running across the finish on the 50 yard line, seeing myself on the jumbo-tron. (I wish I would have gotten a photo where you could better see our goofy faces on the jumbo-tron- you would've enjoyed.) But I'm glad my dad saw us finish and got close enough to get the pictures he did get on the finish line.
I loved everything about this race. The beautiful campus- even with the slight drizzle. Running beside my big sister who was my cheerleader, keeping me going. Being able to finish on the turf of the University of Northern Iowa Panthers. I couldn't have asked for anything better!! Okay, maybe the beer at the end helped also ;)
This blog entry can't even do justice to how much I loved this race. I can't wait to run it again next year, hopefully with better ability. If I thought I couldn't bleed anymore purple and gold, I definitely was proven wrong.