On April 27, 2014 I ran my first 5k ever with my best friend at the Philadelphia Zoo. I did not know what to expect going into the race, I ran for weight loss not competition, so this was a new concept for me. When the gun went off that’s when my race journey began.
832 runners entered, I placed 222 with a 29:45 time, and I thought I did phenomenal. I maintained a 9:35 pace, I was 47th in my age group, and I was bit hard by the competition bug. Throughout middle school, high school and college I was a three sport athlete, and after being out for a year and without competitive play, this was exactly what I needed. I was racing against myself, pushing myself to run faster, harder, pass one more person, pass two more people, no coach, no real rules or time outs, it was just me and the race. And I loved it.
Two months after my first 5k I ran my 4th, I came in 7th overall with a 22:14 time. The nail was in the coffin, I became a runner.
Running means more to me than PR’s and finish lines, it’s about community. There is something about a group of people who share the same interest of pushing ourselves to the limit to become the best we can possibly be. It doesn’t matter if it is your first race or your 130th race standing in the race coral we are all in this together. The running community is one big family, one I am proud to be a part of.