In order to get into the earlier corrals in runDisney races, you need to submit a qualifying time from a 10K race. Since the Princess Half was going to be my first half marathon, I wanted to try and get into a corral near the front to give me more time to run the race. By the middle of August, 2011, I was running regularly and feeling pretty good. I had actually run 5-6 miles at a time and didn't fall over. I saw a notice at a local run store about the You Go Girl Half Marathon and 10K race and knew I had found my first race.
Before I knew it, the morning of the race had arrived and Scott and I were up at some horrible hour driving to Tacoma. We got to the start area in plenty of time, so I was able to sit there and panic and freak out at the thought of what I was about to run. Being the typical female, I ended up looking at everyones' outfits and realized that I was way off on running attire in today's world. I had on Under Armor pants and top (it was a classic rainy fall PNW day), but most of the women were dressed in really cute running skirts and matching tops. I made a mental note that I would need to re-evaluate my running gear before my next race!
Soon, the race started and I was off - straight up hill!! Now, I had looked over the course map and elevation charts and no where did I see the hills like the course ended up having. Too late to change my mind, I kept moving and wondered how I was doing for time. Unfortunately, my phone app that I used for tracking my runs decided not to work that day and I was not going to stop and try and get it going again. Of course, with no running app, meant no music to listen to either, so there I was, running alone up these crazy hills and singing to myself.
When I finally reached the park at the top of the hill, I knew it was all downhill from there and the race was halfway over. I kept going and soon enough I saw that beautiful arch with the words FINISH on it! I still had some energy left in me, so I started sprinting to the end and looked around hoping to see Scott. As I crossed that final timing mat, I head the announcer say "Kaylee from Buckley" and I knew I had done it! The clock at the finish showed a time of 59 minutes and I was shocked to think I ran my first 10K in under an hour.
For my first race I came in in the top 10% of my age group!
Final Race Results:
Kaylee McDonald 41 F (40-44 age group) Buckley, WA
10/110 (division place)
97 (overall finish)
58:09 (final official time)
9:23 (pace per mile)
I have 2 favorite memories from this first race:
1. Crossing the finish line and being given my first piece of "bling!" Although this cute little necklace was nothing like the runDisney medals I have come to treasure, it was my first and will always be cherished.
2. Seeing Scott right after and getting that hug knowing that not even MS was able to stop me from accomplishing my goal!
That day was the start of my true love of running and racing.