I first wrote about my running adventures a couple weeks ago. At the time, I just finished my first two races of 2010 and was preparing for my first Freihofer's Run for Women. I wanted this race to be special, because deep down I wanted it to be an inspiring experience - me, just a local roller girl, running in the same race as Olympic athletes. But would it be? Is it important to celebrate female athletes? Do we need our own distinction?
To tell the truth, this race was special. Before the start of the race, I was lined up under the bridge on Madison Avenue outside of the NYS Museum with 3,500+ other women. Call me soft, but the National Anthem always gets me worked up. Everyone stopped chattering and started listening. Then, I could hear people around me start to gently sing along. It was a very peaceful way to start the race.
Minutes later it was time to run! 15 minutes into the race, almost halfway through the race for me, a runner next to me mused that the winner was just seconds from finishing. She couldn't have been more right. This year's winner finished the race in 15 minutes, 10 seconds - a new course record! Her pace was 4:53 minutes per mile!
What's important (from a women's perspective) about this race is that is THE winning time. It doesn't follow a list of names and times of several men (who could have potentially) completed the race before Emily Chebet (the winner) crossed the finish line as the first woman. She was the first ... period. No asterics needed.
I started the event in peace and finished the race strong. I watched the other woman runners finish strong with me and after me. I saw the photos of the women who finished before me (including my friend Jen). This was a special race.
Rank in division (female, age 20 - 24): 179/261
Pace: 11:01 min/mile
Net time: 34:12