Watch out runners, I’m ba-ack! Well, not quite, but I’m getting there. The 2010 Tyler Azalea 10k was this past weekend, and despite the lack of blooming azaleas, the turnout was quite good. The race, hosted by Mellew Productions, is my favorite race and will always have a soft spot in my heart. This is the third consecutive year I’ve participated in the event, and happy thoughts always come to mind when I reminisce of past years’ Azalea 10ks. In 2008 the race marked my first 10k race ever, and it just so happened that the same day I bought a new car! Come 2009 my running had progressed from hobby-jogging to running with a slight touch of speed and competitive confidence. Consequently, I ended up winning my first ever age group placement and was nearly brought to tears by the joy of that sense of athletic accomplishment. This year the 2010 Azalea 10k marked the end of my bitter battle with a lingering knee injury.
The weather, a chilly 51 degrees, promised great things as 50 degrees is what I consider to be my optimal running temperature. I awoke strangely calm, dressed and headed to Bergfeld park to join the other runners. Though I hadn’t even planned on participating this year, as soon as I arrived at the event I was very happy to be there. Smiling face after smiling face offered warm hellos, and running buddies of months past welcomed me back as though we hadn’t missed a stride. Before I knew it, we were off. The race went by quickly, and moments of strength were followed by moments of burning pain. Though I went into the race telling myself I was there only to participate, I had a goal time in mind that I was not letting out of grasp. At times all I wanted to do was throw in the towel and hang my head in shame on the side of the road and hope someone would come looking for me after the race, but pride would never let me do something like that. I crossed the finish line in under an hour, and felt pretty dang good about it. Had I been one of the top three to place in my age group (or any age group in this case) I might not have been so happy, as quite a few unusual and slightly suspect changes were made to the results after they were posted. Alterations were made to several age groups, a bit unfair, but tolerable for a small 10k. Now, if we’re talking a Boston Qualifying marathon come October, I’m not sure if the Tyler runners will extend the same tolerance for disorganization. Either way, I won’t be bothered by this elitist nonsense… I’m just happy to be running again.
1510 South College
Tyler, TX 75703