The beauty of running in a race is the knowledge that there is a Finish Line somewhere. That if only, you stick it out and be patient enough until  you cross that line, you’re rewarded with the fact , that indeed, you run your heart out and finish the race. I think it’s one of the reason I’m so inclined to sign up for one. It’s not so much about whether I get a medal or a finisher’s shirt ( Well, they’re an added bonus or incentive ) Or  establish a personal best or break my previous time. What pique my interest is the feeling of accomplishment afterward. And the realization that I did something way out of my comfort zone is definitely awesome. And to be with like-minded individuals. :)

When you decide or convince yourself  to sign up for a race and eventually run it, it’s one hell of a reason that spurs you to train and run seriously. I avoid to pin names on what I love doing because I think it’s a recipe for me, to procrastinate and stress out. So, whenever I have an upcoming race, I just get out there and run more often.

Shawnigan Lake Walk ( 27 K ) – May 27, 2011 ( not timed )

Had to check this map from time to time and still managed to be lost. :D

This was my first foray into running long. It wasn’t exactly a race per se. So there was no chip or any other timing device. It was a fund-raising event and a leisurely walk around Shawnigan Lake. I figured I can use it as my “long run” before my first half-marathon race.

I had a great time doing this one. At one point I got lost but fortunately was able to get back on the right track. It was also my first time on the trail and it was fun. I’ve been thinking about trying to run around Shawnigan Lake since I moved to Mill Bay so when I heard about this event, I went ahead and signed up.

And it was only the event where I finished first ( at least in the 27K distance anyway ) because most of those who were in it, just walked. :D

Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon ( 21K) – June 26, 2011 ( timed )

I know, I say I’m not after finisher’s medal or something, but this one sure looks nice, eh?

My first official half-marathon race. I had a great experience and enjoyed my brief stint of running on some parts of Vancouver. I was so hype on it and being in the company of other excited runners was amazing. I could not help but be in the thick of the overflowing adrenaline rush.

I had no expectations for this race except to run and had a great time. And I did. ;)

The Great Lake Walk ( 56K ) – September 17, 2011 (timed )

If I haven’t been running, I would not be in places like this.

It said 56K on their website but I think it was way more than that, as per the data recorded on my GF. I believe I wasn’t thinking clearly when I signed up for this event. The word “WALK”, I suppose, downplayed the enormity of it all. I did not pay any attention to the distance.

Good thing I made it to the finish line. More than 8 hours was by far, the longest time I stayed up on my feet, running ( with walking and shuffling, on the side ) I can’t even remember the last time I spend asleep for 8 hours, at least.

Still, the amazing experience I had that day was priceless. Not to mention almost passing out after I took a quick shower and walking like a zombie the next day. :D

Shawnigan Kinsol Half-Marathon ( 21K ) – October 30, 2011 ( timed )

One of the reason I signed up for half-marathon. ;)

Another trail run for me ( well, for most part of it ) and my last race for the year. I decided to sign up for it since it’s just nearby where I live. Besides, I was curious to see the newly restored Kinsol Trestle. So what better way to check it out but run along it. ;)

The only downside was I don’t get to use my mp3 player. It felt weird and I was sluggish all through the entire 21K.

My second half-marathon and I’m glad I did it. :)

2011 has been a wonderful year and I have no complaints. I’m blessed with the opportunity to go to places and run. And I’m also thankful for the people who go out of their way to make it possible for me to run in these races.

Running has become more than just a means to an end or whatever you may call it. It’s now a part of me. As one runner said, ” I wish I could run forever.” :)

Wobble on Panda. ;)