On Saturday, October 15 at 5:45 am (or earlier), 4 Kogod students dragged themselves from bed and set off for Baltimore to participate in the annual Under Amour Running Festival. As one of these 4 students, I can say that it was no easy task.
Mostly because, like most racers, I could hardly sleep. 2 competing thoughts kept me awake that night. One being that I was terrified to attempt running a half marathon considering that I had little time to train. Though most of us had starting preparing for this race during the summer, our workouts had become more sparse and certainly less effective given the workload of the semester.
The other that occupied my mind, like a little kid waiting up for Santa, was the terrifying image of oversleeping and potentially missing the race. Given the impending 6am wake-up call from Michael Moran, the impossibility this did not deter me from checking the clock every hour.
Once we were in Baltimore, things seemed to get easier but only because we were all in it together. Michael and I watched as Julie and Meredith crossed the finish line after a nail-biting 5K. We proudly cheered as they strode unscathed past a surprisingly cheerful morning crowd. My nerves were not calmed seeing how well they did during their race and for the most part, I wished I had run the 5K.
The half-marathon course was beautiful. Michael (way more prepared than I was) and I ran the better part of the first 4 miles together. Taking in the fresh Baltimore air and the support of the crowd along the course. Throughout the race, I was really impressed with the culture of the city and continually awed by its majestic nature. Though I have lived in the DC area for nearly 5 years, I had never explored Baltimore (only 40 minutes away) nearly as much as I did that beautiful October morning. The weather, the cheering crowd, and the course could not have been more amazing.
After crossing the finish line 2 hours later, I was thrilled to have survived and even more happy to have discovered moleskin earlier that day. During the ride back to DC, we were all elated to have completed 2 great races and Baltimore and even discussed races for the spring.
By far the best part of this experience was raising nearly $2000 (thanks in part to our heroic captain) to support a great cause. As the 2012-2013 honorary charity of the Graduate Business Association, we are developing several programs to create buzz and raise funds to help eliminate juvenile diabetes. Despite tendinitis that lasted longer than expected and particularly bad knees for a 27 year old, I plan on continued participation in races and even more support for the JDRF.