by Katie Bolton
The first time I ever “went for a run,” I was twelve years old and wanted to play on my middle school’s soccer team. I knew from reading Mapquest directions that a nearby street was 1/10 miles long, so I practiced lumbering up and down that stretch five times, walking when I couldn’t run any more, and panting alone in the dark when I couldn’t walk any more. Though I ultimately did not live up to my aspirations as the next Mia Hamm, I knocked a minute off of my mile time in gym class and unknowingly set myself up to become what I never expected: a runner.
Runners and walkers pick up the sport because it’s healthy, but they stick with it because they find something they love about it. I came back to it while training for rugby, another team sport I wasn’t very good at. After my sister dragged me through my first 10k, I realized running could be a sport, not just training for other sports. It fit into my schedule and it didn’t demonstrate my lack of hand-eye coordination to teammates or spectators. A year later, I finished a marathon.
Though I won’t win any races any time soon, I can compete against myself at any distance. I love the structure of a training plan and the feeling of chasing a new personal best. I have even tried a few triathlons and found that I run my best after swimming and biking. Still, I’m excited to get back to every distance runner’s foundation—the 5k—with Delta Sigma Theta and the DC Running Club on June 23, 2012. We’re so grateful to DST for choosing Calvary as a beneficiary of their race, and I plan to show it by running as fast as I can and by inviting all of the runners and Calvary supporters I can to join us.
Like many of my colleagues at Calvary and our friends and families, women in Calvary’s programs already enjoy yoga, zumba, running, bicycling and walking. They participate in healthy eating and cooking classes, and we look forward to expanding these programs in conjunction with our move to Good Hope Road. This 5k is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to come together for a different kind of event in our new neighborhood. With its river breeze, greenery, and freshly paved trails, the newly renovated Anacostia Park is a beautiful site for the race. I hope to see you out on the course! I’ll have a smile and a wave for everyone who passes me.