February 27, 2020
Written by Maria Campanella
I have been working for Hydaway almost four years now. During my time here, I have had many opportunities to work our trail race events. Every time I am able to do this, I always be sure to hang out at the Finish Line and watch all the runners at that pinnacle moment. Since working my first race I have always wanted to experience that accomplishment. However, it just felt like a pipe dream and I never actually thought I would be here now, writing a blog about how I ran the Arctic 5K. But here we are…
I always felt inspired the day of these races to start running, but when it came time to actually do something about it, I never did. Until last November when my friend and roommate, Naomi, came home one day and asked if I wanted to run the Arctic 5K with her. I immediately said YES! We started “training” pretty soon after deciding to run the race. We ran in our neighborhood or in local parks mostly, starting with small distances and built up to the 5K. Neither of us started the process really excited to run, but as we did it more and more, we both knew it was growing on us! I always wanted to love running and although I wouldn’t go as far to say that yet, this was a good first step.
After a few months, we finally made it to February 1st, RACE DAY!! The atmosphere of the races is upbeat and exciting, we were ready to go. It was nice to be with Naomi and my work friends to help me with my morning jitters. They made me feel encouraged and excited for the run. The actual race was really hard, I won’t lie. Even though it felt like we ran and prepared well, there was rough terrain and the majority of the first half of the race is uphill. We definitely walked a bit and I fell on the way down about four times, lol embarrassing. BUT, we crossed the finish line and WE DID IT!
If you are thinking about running and don’t know where to start, here is what I have to say. These are what helped to encourage me and hope they will help you get there as well:
Find a running partner! I mean it when I say I probably would not have been able to run this race if I didn’t have someone who was willing to make time and run with me. It is so much easier to be motivated when you have someone holding you accountable and doing it with you! This was the most important part for me personally!
Sign up for the race early. Register as soon as you know you want to do it. This is another small way to hold yourself accountable. Not to mention you get a shirt out of it if you do this step ?
Be aware that it will be challenging, but the racing community is so encouraging. Multiple times on the course I had positive interactions with the other people running around me. One even helped me after falling; it was a small thing but really helped me feel reinvigorated! Everyone seems to look out for each other. You start the race as strangers, though you feel closer to them after the race. A difficult and exhausting experience like the Arctic 5k really brings people together.
You will feel really accomplished once it is over. I was as happy to cross the finish line as I had always hoped I would be after witnessing it so many times. It was worth the process!
If you’re interested in running one of our races, check out the Outdoor Recreation website to get started. You won’t regret it!