Guest post as originally published on BlackGirlsRun.com December 13, 2011
I am not a rock star, I am not even an elite runner, but for the Rock ‘n Roll Savannah half marathon, I felt like one. Let me explain, I have run many halves before, but this one was different. It was different because I connected with some of the most talented, fit, and fabulous women in, dare I say it? Yes, I connected with some of the most talented, fit, and fabulous women in the world! Women of all ages, shapes, and sizes with one goal in mind: to conquer the Savannah half and marathon. And we did. Some of the women set personal records, some set personal distances, and the rest of us ran the best races we could.
This phenomenon happened thanks to a wonderful group called Race & Relax, which rolled out the red carpet for us. We were wined and dined (literally). We bonded, swapped our funniest stories, and got our sweat on by running the race. And then we were awarded trophies, I have NEVER gotten a trophy for running a race, so this was huge to me. Our gift bags also included t-shirts, and other goodies.
Other than enjoying each other’s company, John Bingham (The Penguin) the author of The Penguin articles in Runner’s World magazine showed up at our dinner and gave us tips on having a good race. Unbelievable! Didn’t I say I as treated like a rock star?
For the first time ever, I was admitted into the VIP suite before and after the race. Yes, I was. Can you say happy? All I can say is that it was an amazing weekend in an amazing city. All along the route people were sitting in their front yards smiling, shouting “Good morning” and waving. Many residents said it was the longest parade they had ever seen.
Although we were all there to run the race, the weekend was bigger than that. It was about women encouraging women, pushing through fear, celebrating victories, and making new friends especially in the line for the last bathroom visit just before the race! We all left there changed forever, some in small ways, others in major ways, but we all are better for this experience. We are what I call sistergirlfriends(trademark pending). In fact, we are all Facebook friends and keep in touch regularly.
Thank you Black Girls Run (www.blackgirlsrun.com) for connecting me with Race and Relax. Thank you Race and Relax (read more about the founder at http://runwifeyrun.blogspot.com) for spoiling us rotten with the assistance of the American Cancer Society and everyone who played a part.
I have to add one more thing, It the perfect weekend until Alabama lost to LSU, but what can you do? Roll Tide anyway.
Doretha Walker is a runner and freelance writer from Charleston, SC.