On Saturday, I ran Beach to Beacon, a little old 10K in little old Portland, Maine, whose traffic in August is a wonder to behold. The male winner ran it in 27-ish minutes. American Molly Huddle took third in the women’s field at 31:40. I placed 5689th, had plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and cheering crowds, and still shook Joan Benoit Samuelson’s hand at the finish line. I think we all know who the real winner was here.
Other ways that I won:
I got to meet Kelly Roberts and, briefly, join her badass lady gang. I toyed with stripping off my tank to join the #sportsbrasquad but realized it wouldn’t have made one bit of difference in terms of keeping cool.
I learned what #flatbruce is. Cindy, in pink, opened her Portland-area house up to us and we had a PJ Party on Friday night. We did not stay up until 3 a.m. talking about boys, however. It was lights-out at 10 p.m. because we are rockstars.
Did you earn a cute Dunkin gift card and a $10 gift certificate to L.L.Bean just for showing up somewhere on Saturday? #winning
I got to run on the same course with seven other badass mother runners -- Heidi, Donna, Amy, Sandra, Sarah, Francine, and Cindy -- whose support I could feel even when they weren’t within arms reach. Just getting to spend time with mother runners is always a win.
After the race, I drove to Arrowsic, Maine, to meet up with the rest of my family, who’d spent the night with friends that my husband and I have known for more than 25 years. Their home in Maine, where they live year-round, is one of my favorite places on the planet, mostly because of the people in it but also a little bit because they are not far from Reid State Park. All beaches should have boulders to scramble on and waves that crash against them.
And the last reason I won:
Two words: Holy. Donut.
All of these positives put the race itself in perspective. Yes, I was gunning for a 10K PR but knew that was out of the question once I was standing at the start in 90 percent humidity. My first mile was close to what my race plan was but I knew I couldn’t hold it when I started to get dizzy and queasy about a quarter mile into my second mile. So I moved on and just enjoyed the race as much as I could. Which wasn’t hard at all, once I made up my mind to do it.
I’ll be heading back up to Portland to volunteer at a little race our Dimity is swim-running. I’ll be at water stop 9 on Chebeaque Island, ready to cheer and hydrate all of the athletes. And, yes, I will hit Holy Donut again on my way home. Priorities.