A month ago I had the chance for a spot in a road race that is usually sold out the day registration open. Melissa’s Road Race is a popular Banff road race and has been awarded as one of the best road races in Alberta. Sponsored by the famous Melissa’s Restaurant (a place my parents used to take us to at a very young age), the race is an exciting gathering of locals and runners from all over the province.
So I had my chance to run. I always wanted to sign up for Melissa’s Road Race with the intention of having a goal to work towards. I also wanted to overcome a major fear of mine that I’d developed from bad experiences running track in elementary school: racing of any kind… especially among a large group of people.
Anyways, I had only a month to ‘train’ and I had to just trust that the hiking and climbing I had been doing all summer would help me out. Still, I hadn’t been for a run since May and sprained my ankle in August, so I was feeling a bit skeptical. All I managed to do before the race was run a 9.25 km route and a 4 km route.
Showing up on the race day, I felt a little bit silly… that is until I saw the kind of ‘racers’ that were there. Being a popular road race celebrating its 30th year, there must have been years that some of these people ran, but as time wore on, it turns out they were now settling to walk the whole way. This gave me a bit of a boost of confidence despite the super-runners that were stretching in unimaginable ways beside me.
My iPod pumping tunes in my ears, I was surprised by how fast I was going, but some unseen force was definitely driving me onwards (even up the hill on Tunnel Mountain). I crossed the finish line with a time of 58 minutes and a pace of 5:48 per kilometre. Is that good? I don’t know.
All I know is that I had a blast and overcome one of my major fears. Amazing.
© Meghan J. Ward, 2009.