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Race Day

Monday, October 05, 2015

I love Race Day. Or, perhaps more appropriately I should say Race Weekend. And if that’s the case, then more specifically I should say…BoldrDash Race Weekend.

There is something in the air at Yawgoo that goes beyond a typical event vibe. This weekend, the 5th Anniversary of Rhode Island’s premiere event, not even a monsoon kind of Saturday could dampen the spirits of the crowd.

My pattern has been to race on Saturday and volunteer on Sunday. This year I switched it up. I’m glad I did. For while 2015 may have marked my 4th run each year feels a first of some sort.

2012 was a solo run and it was more of a spiritual journey than a physical or athletic one. In 2013 it was a small band of supporting friends running alongside with my son guiding my way. 2014 was truly a focused effort as the Torinados, approaching just shy of 40 in number, took the starting line. Each experience rewarding, fulfilling and unlike the one before. 2015 would prove to be no different.

Saturday I had the pleasure of being the “Sharpie” girl. Standing outside of the registration area it was my job to mark racers with their bib number. Saturday was windy, cold and rainy. Most racers left little to no skin showing leaving finding an area to mark a challenge. This up close and personal moment with the racers gave me the opportunity to have communication with several hundred people I would not otherwise have encountered. And those encounters were memorable.

There were the first time racers you had the opportunity to encourage, and the repeat racers with whom to reminisce. Whole teams converged on me and my sharpie at once and we got creative with placement and with decals. I learned the stories and the names. I went looking for many of the faces at the finish line. New friends were made because of a black magic marker and a four number sequence. I felt a part of their experience.

On Sunday it was my turn. The Torinados were light in number but not in spirit. We stood in 3 different groups on the start line. Once it began and we ascended the first hill it quickly became 4. I’m slow to warm up and battling a Bakers Cyst the steepness of the slope forced me to drop back. If I was going to go the distance I needed to preserve.

I shouted my okay’s and continued on alone. It provided me with a different view of the course and the racers. What I lost uphill I gained downhill. I strategized and made the most of the obstacles I knew I could overcome quickly. Up and over. Drop and roll. By doing so it allowed me time to observe.

From the sides of the hill I could see racers going up and down in the clearing in the middle. I could see the gleam in their eye and the pride on their face. I was able to watch the interactions between teams, between strangers.

It didn’t matter who you were, what you did, where you came from or who you knew once that horn indicated the start of your heat. It was just you and the mountain. Preconceived perceptions gone, guard dropped, titles dis-guarded. We were all one, we were all the same. We were like-minded individuals coming together for a singular purpose. Yes, we may all have our individual reasons to run but whatever those reasons are they all bring us to the finish line.

If only we could take the comradery from the course and bring it into the everyday. The “leg up”, the high-five, the extended hand and the “atta boy” transcend any experience. The Human Experience.

Lynn Hall BoldrDash knows how to bring that out of people. She brings it to the course and those that run it bring it to each other. Let’s have a little BoldrDash every day and pay that “atta boy” forward.

I love Race Day.