On Saturday, in addition to a lot of friends I ran into from the gym I instruct at, as well as fraternity brothers and friends from college, I had the chance to introduce my Aunt Susie and our friend Tammy to their first ever obstacle race. I'm pretty sure I was more excited for them to have the experience than I was to run (which I'm always excited). So excited in fact, that when we got to the race I realized I had forgotten to pack my shoes - quite possibly the worst thing to forget for a race and always a consistent fear of mine. I was left with 2 choices, run the course barefoot, (which I'll be honest, really wasn't an option - I've seen some folks pull it off, but I would never try it), or cram my feet into the extra pair of shoes Tammy had brought with her. Obviously, I made the latter decision and while it was a slightly painful experience, I made it through nonetheless.
Both of them absolutely loved the race, they did great, and once they crossed the finish line they said they now understood why I loved to run obstacle races so much and how they could be addicting. My aunt was so excited that she actually came very close to signing up to run on Sunday again with me! They're already excited to run again next year. I also had the chance to crawl around in the mud and jump over the fire a few extra times to get some extra photographs with a photographer from Great Lakes Bay Magazine for the story they're doing on Run to Remember...so I got to have even more fun!
So far, that's been one of the great things about running so many races, and doing it for such a great cause. Friends and family, even people I don't know, who haven't run an obstacle race before want to try one because they get to see the fun I'm having and they want to be a part of the quest to 100 races, help bring awareness to Alzheimer's, and hopefully reach the goal of $1 million to support the Alzheimer's Association. It continues to show me that while this is obviously an extremely personal mission and endeavor, it touches so many others, and I'm extremely thankful for the support and those that want to be involved. It's barely over a month and a half since I started running, and I've already found myself so incredibly lucky, I can't imagine what the rest of the year will hold!