Pre-Race: Lilac and I had initially heard about Girls on the Run when we were looking at races in 2007, and saw a “Diva Dash” on Cinco de Mayo. For some reason we decided not to race it (I think Lilac had a conflict). We saw the GOTR when we did the IronGirl in December 2007, and although I was really interested in becoming a running coach, I was doing way too much travel to commit.
Early in 2008, I was looking for races and found the Wondergirl race. This race is the culmination of the hard work the girls put in during the spring session. There was an opportunity to become a one time – race event only – Running Buddy. Sign us up!
I had gone to the 5k practice at my assigned school – Bustoz Elementary – and met several of the girls. During the practice I ran with the 2nd slowest girl, and had an absolute blast. The pace was slow, but I’m positive that I made that little girl feel like a million dollars. I was eagerly anticipating the same kind of experience on Wondergirl Day…
…Except that my Slow Girl didn’t show up to the race. So at the last second I was paired up with Cynthia from Laveen Elementary. We stretched together in the group stretch, and then it was time to go! Lilac was also paired up with a Laveen girl, named Layla.
The Race: Funny, they neglected to tell me that Cynthia had rockets for legs! As soon as the gun fired, off she went, pushing through people and other groups, meanwhile I’m desperately trying (and failing) to keep up. “Cynthia!! Cynthia!! Excuse me, I’m losing my girl…Excuse me… CYNTHIA!!!!” Gone. I have no idea where my buddy is, and now I’m panicking that I’m going to be in trouble for losing my girl. My only solution? Stop and wait for Lilac and Layla, and run with them!
About the time Lilac and Layla caught up, Cynthia came back for me, so I took off with her again… and lost her again in about 30 seconds. This girl could run! Speedy Gonzales also didn’t look back for her buddy. So I waited for Lilac and Layla again.
Eventually Cynthia and I started to play a game where she would run to a certain landmark, and then come back to me. “Hey Cynthia – see that boat ramp? Go!” Meanwhile I trotted along with Layla and Lilac who were much more my pace. At some point Cynthia got “tired” (for all of 35 seconds) and walked with me and held my hand. It was nice, until she took off again.
Post-Race: Overall it was the worst speedwork session of all time. Run as fast as you can, stop for 10 steps, run as fast as you can etc. for three miles. My quads hurt for days. Cynthia had fun though – although she probably did 5 miles with all the back and forth. When I talked to her coaches afterward they laughed at my plan, and mentioned that they were afraid I wouldn’t take her if I knew she was super fast. Wow thanks for telling me now!
Cynthia took off and finished ahead of us. Lilac, Layla, and I finished in about 50 minutes or so, but had a great time. We were Wondergirls!