Despite drinking every ounce of pre-race and post-race fluid I had with me prior to the starting gun sounding, a half mile into this race, I was parched. It wasn’t so much that it was hot, it was just dry. That’s the way the desert is.
The 17th Annual Southern Nevada Legends of Cross Country Challenge was the only race being held during the weekend of my high school reunion in Las Vegas, so I signed up.
The race was a fundraiser for a local cross-country scholarship program. The field was filled with YOUNG runners, including several local high school cross-country teams. It was weird to be back in a part of the world where I grew up surrounded by so many high school athletes. Running was something I didn’t do in high school. I was asthmatic and brought up believing that running wasn’t something I could do. It took me 25 years to realized that particular belief system was wrong.
This was a fun but slightly difficult trail race. I love trail races. There was lots of sand, it was warm, dry and the 2400 ft Southern Nevada elevation might have been a bit of a problem had this race been more difficult. I was very happy with my time, although I came in 84th of the 92 men; running will keep you humble. This was a field of very serous runners.
After the open division finished, the Legends heat started. The entire field of men and women were done in just over 20 minutes.
I went out on the course to watch the legends runners and stood with parents much like myself. These parents were cheering on their children much like I do my cheerleader. There was no rivalry, just support for all the runners regardless of what school they ran for.
Maybe it was being back in Southern Nevada, maybe it was the high school environment and the supportive parents, maybe it was just the phase of the moon, but I started to miss my mom. She passed 16 years ago. This lonely feeling came over me. I wished that my mom could have been there at that moment to cheer me on. Maybe she was.
But life is often a choice between focusing on what you have or what you don’t have. Rather than focusing on missing my mom, I Facetimed my dad in New York. I told him what was going on and he was loving and supportive. What more could one ask?