This is from the first race I ever participated in as a real runner.
From my journal on 12.8.98:
“…On Sunday, I ran in a 30k race. 18.6 miles. Three hours and ten minutes of running in 83-degree heat. I haven’t taken my race shirt off (the one that says finisher) yet. It’s like I still can’t believe that I did it. Wow. The next big race is the marathon*. My first and hopefully, the first of many.”
I can still remember what it was like to stand at the start of that race. It was in downtown Houston and it was the first time I’d ever seen that many runners together in one place. At 6:30am, no less. You could taste the energy that morning.
I don’t think anyone ever really forgets their first race. Especially when it happens to you at 22 years old.
*I would end up getting my first DNF during that marathon. I fucked up my knee at mile 13, running over a freeway overpass. Another experience I’ll never forget.