Race #22 – Running for Community, Competition

Harrisburg River Runners at the Springettsbury 10k

Race #22 – the Springettsbury 10k, 7th of the 8-race YRRC Winter Race Series

The Cause – The York Road Runners Club, York, PA

Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us find out what we are made of.

Pattisue Plumer, two-time U.S. Olympian

Winter races are scarce in the northeast. I don’t know what I would have done without the YRRC Winter Race Series. My 50 races for 50 causes definitely would have hit the skids. The fact that the series benefitted a local run club and community was the icing on the cake.

Chatting with some of my fellow Harrisburg River Runners prior to the race, I learned that Joe (at far right of the above photo) has completed 108 marathons including 44 in different countries. He is kind of a legend in the local running community. Talk about inspiration!

At this point in the series, my competitive spirit is kicking in. I try to keep my competitive obsessions in check when it comes to running most races, by focusing on my goals–not so much on time and pace. But the cool thing about doing a series like this is that your points accumulate every time you place in one of the races. It adds another layer of motivation and competition to the individual races when you see how your results add up, collectively.

The overall points standings reward consistency. So far, I have placed in the top 10 (anywhere from 2nd-5th in most, and as low as 8th in one) in my age group in every race, except one that I missed entirely due to a conflict. Heading into today’s race, I was tied for 4th in the standings, but after today’s race if I’ve calulated correctly, I’m in 3rd. One final race to go!

The first of many hills in the Springettsbury 10k

True to the series, today’s race was challenging and super hilly. The course just doesn’t level out–the hills are constantly rolling. Given that, I was super happy to beat my previous two times at this exact race from years’ past.

We had brisk conditions but a beautiful blue sky to race under, along with a wide variety of scenery from neighborhoods to farmland and even York County’s famous Haines Shoe House in the distance. After the race, we learned that one of our fellow runners, Dwight, even had a deer run out in front of him (and back!) during the race. Our amazing race photographer Clay Shaw captured it all!

See the entire series of photos captured by Clay, in the gallery below!

Looking ahead: I’m excited to wrap up this series and tackle a whole lineup of spring races for incredible causes. I’ve used a lot of my cold winter days to contact friends and family, make plans, and sign up for races. Stay tuned!

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