This past Sunday I ran in the Coaster Run at Knott’s Berry Farm. It is a 10K (6.2 miles, for those who problem converting kilometers into miles).
Just under one-half of the race ran through the park. Which would normally not be a problem, except there are a few hundred people running with you. And that is a crowd. Something you are trying to get away from so you can run your Personal Best (PB).
And if that is not a problem enough, then think of the tunnels that run underground from the amusement park to Soak City (a water park owned by the same people who run Knott’s Berry Farm.) Again, you have the same few hundred people running with you and there is even less maneuvering room. Plus it’s darker in the tunnels.
Not a good place to be if you are claustrophobic, or possibly suffer from nyctophobia (fear of darkness).
But that is part of the fun. There are going to be random events while running. To get a good time you literally have to think on your feet. You have to make plans how to pass another runner, you have to figure out how to maneuver a curve in the course, you sometimes have to leap to around obstacles (water on the ground – and occasionally coming from elsewhere, defects in the roads, moving people, and so on.).
And part of the randomness is the sun. Sometimes it is in front you, sometimes it is behind you and sometimes it is partially hidden behind some clouds.
The last scenario is perhaps a runner’s dream – you can run faster, longer, and better (note to self – this sounds like an introduction to the Six Million Man) when it is slightly cooler and yet there is still sunlight.
Except for this past Sunday.
The sun, with all it glorious warmth, came out to warm the ground and our bodies with just over one mile to go. It was uplifting and inspiring. And my MPM (Minutes Per Mile. Not to be confused with Miles Per Minute) actually decreased to under 7.00. I was actually doing better at the end of the race than at the beginning (then again, there were less people running next to me at the end).
An old Byrds’ song just popped into my head (There is a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep)
A wonderful experience. I’ve got to do this again! 😉