Friday, June 15, 2012

A Fest...of Ladies!

One of the best events in my opinion that comes around once a year in Lethbridge is Ladies Fest. It's always held at the beginning of June and fills up within a few days because it's so popular.  There are 750 entries permitted. It's a 5 mile run - for just women. Some may say this is discriminatory. I think it's empowering. You will find all sizes, shapes, ages and levels of fitness at the run. They all have one common goal - to do it, however they can, because they can.
My running friends and I have done this for a number of years now. We all look forward to it and book it into our calendar. For the past few years, we've even let our families fend for themselves on that saturday morning and stayed for a short while to feast on the brunch. What a treat!
Last year, Sara asked if she could do it. I signed her up. We entered as a Mother/Daughter team - and we won second place! This year, Hannah decided she wanted to try. So, I signed up all three of us. Sara wanted to try it as an individual and Hannah and I signed up as Mother/Daughter. After we registered, we learned that Sara had a basketball game at the same time, so Hannah and I went to the run together.
I wasn't sure she would finish. It is a long run, with two rather large hills. She set a goal for herself and it was to do it in less than an hour and ten minutes.
It was a beautiful morning and when the gun went off, we shuffled our way to the start line, took a deep breath and headed out. The birds were singing and we started to run.
It's such a great feeling to just be able to move and be healthy. Hannah and I enjoyed every step of the run. When we got tired, we would just slow down a bit and adjust our pace.
Well, she finished. We finished. All my friends finished. And we all finished strong! One of us placed second overall (and she ran with a race number of  lady who was unable to run because she'd been diagnosed with cancer since she'd registered). She said that made her want to work even harder! One of us bested her time by three minutes. One started five minutes after the gun went off and passed A LOT of people. One kicked so fast at the end that she passed people she'd followed the whole time. One had her kids cheering for her from their Chariot. One had to run straight from the run to work - so she ran FAST! One helped lead the warm up - and then ran the race too! Hannah blew her goal out of the park! She ran it in 53 minutes! Bottom line, everyone ran their own race. Life analogy there?
I just enjoyed every minute! The smell of the blossoms, the sound of friendship and laughter, the wind blowing (perhaps a bit stronger than we would like!), the birds chirping and the feeling of freedom and strength each step brings.
There is no better way to start a Saturday morning. Good job Hannah! And thanks Ladies!