Nike's Women's Run was my first marathon race. Though I had practiced running for ten kilometers twice before the run, it felt very different to run in a race. I was kind of skeptical when Irma told me that I would feel the excitement on the spot, but the loud music and hyper coaches really turned me on on the spot. I couldn't wait to begin!
In the beginning I had to worm my way out of the crowds, but little by little, the runners began to thin out into long lines. It was indeed much more fun to run with others than practicing alone on the university campus. Along the way, the staff kept rooting for us, and I had to admit, their words were really uplifting. As I progressed at my speed, I gradually ran past some runners. I didn't feel I was running faster. Instead, I couldn't help wondering if they had slowed down. To me, a marathon race is more about competing with myself than with others.
We ran along Renai Rd. and then went on the Jianguo Expressway. It felt weird, in a good way, to run on the roads normally for cars. I had neither a watch nor a a timer with me, so I couldn't tell how far I had gone. It was not until I saw the sign that indicates the distance we had covered that I got a clue. When I had run for eight kilometers, I felt I was about to hit the wall, but experienced runners know better than stop to walk because then it will be hard to start again. The legs will feel so heavy that it will require more determination than ever to break into a run again. At this moment a runner next to me said, "You are amazing!" I looked at the runners ahead of me, puzzled by her words. I asked her why. She replied, "I've been running behind you." Upon hearing her words, I couldn't help pushing forward as if my legs were equipped with propellers.
In the end I finished the race within 63.5 minutes, ranking 216th out of 6,051 runners. I always thought of myself as a super slow runner, so low that I had no chance to run in a relay race in my life, but I found my talent at the age of 40!