The overall winner of the Mission Inn Run 10K finished in a time of 29 minutes, 10 seconds. His pace was 4:41, and the 25-year-old beat the second-place finisher by more than two minutes. He also beat my time by more than 21 minutes.
Should that discourage me? Should I be disappointed that I finished so far back of the winner? Realistically, the race was over for me after a few steps for once the eventual winner took his first few steps it would have been obvious that I wouldn't have been able to catch up.
But to say that I am disappointed in my time would be way off the mark. I am still happy... however... the official race results came out and this is what it reads...
So turns out what I'd originally seen when I crossed the line was indeed my finish time, which is fine. It changes nothing to be honest.
I'm still excited about having run my best-ever time for a 10K and excited about the potential I showed that I have for future races. 49:59 or below is within sights and that's encouraging. Motivating.
I suppose that's why I like running. Well, there are many reasons why I like to run - staying healthy, meeting challenges, looking halfway decent - but races in particular are enjoyable. Even though I am not as physically talented as the ones who can run 10Ks in under 30 minutes, half-marathons in under 1 hour, 10 minutes or marathons in under 2 hours, 30 minutes, we are on level footing. They have their challenges and I have mine, and we both try and meet them however we can.
It's encouraging to know that if you were to pick up running and try to run a few miles here or there and then enter a 5K as a newbie with only a few months of running under your belt, you will liely enjoy the experience, and you won't be humbled by others who are better/faster/stronger.
Unless you can run five-minute miles, the only person you compete against when you run is yourself.
So even if the winner of a given race can finish, shower, dress and start eating a sandwich while you are still on the course, it's not exactly discouraging.