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I’m not a runner. In fact, I really don’t like running. But I will participate in the occasional 5K fundraisers. My first one actually popped up in my Facebook timeline from 5 years ago. I was running with 2 very athletic friends who really pushed me hard! Yep, I knew then running wasn’t my thing.

So when I was asked to join another running event, I was hesitant. Oh, this is different, they said. We just do this for fun, they said. You can walk if you need to, they said. Sold. I’m in. Walking is good!

 

 

I was then signed up for the 2016 Beach to Bay marathon in Corpus Christi. This annual event is always held on Armed Forces Day. And runners battle the elements of south Texas to complete a 26.2 point-to-point relay route in full, or part in the case of my friends and myself. My first run, I was paired with my very dear friend Shannon Pruski on Leg 3 for a lovely 4.36 mile run/jog/walk over the Causeway Bridge. Keeping up with her long legs was challenging! My activity app showed I took about 500 more steps than she had at the completion of our jaunt! Short girl problems.

 

We finished successfully. A bit sweaty. But passed the baton to the Leg 4 runners to continue on. We had put 2 teams of 6 ladies together to complete the 6 different Legs. Spent the night at a Corpus hotel and made a mini girls weekend of it all. And this kind of bonding among girlfriends is much needed for the soul. So, when planning for the 2017 run, of course I said yes!

 

Running with Friends PHOTOS

This year I was prepared. Well, not so much physically, but mentally. My new friend Brooks James paired up with me for Leg 1. That was a super early morning at 4AM. But we all had a comfortable night at a much better Corpus hotel and Brooks and I met up with Leg 2 runners, Karisa Miller and Tiffany Cheng, to catch the bus for the first 2 routes.

 

Being the first Leg definitely has its advantages. Brooks and I sat among hundreds of participants in the early morning and enjoyed visiting as electronic dance music played around us. We met up with Brooks’ childhood friend Sunny Moore - she was running two Legs! We watched the sunrise, and got to be part of the opening ceremonies which included the national anthem and welcoming speeches at 7AM. As the run began, we were a little like sardines as the runners filtered by fast and slow. But we got to run along the beach and ended our 3.15 miles at Bob Hall Pier. It was a beautiful morning. We put our feet in the water a little and cooled off until we had to load the busses that took us back to our car. It was very enjoyable. Words cannot describe the many feels of that morning. Sleepy, cranky, dark, crowded, silly, laughing, fast, slow, pretty, sandy, stinky, hot, hungry, thirsty, happy, satisfied, relaxed. Yes, a few words can!

 

The rest of the girls in our group all finished their segments of the relay. And we all gathered at the finish line at 1PM for more fun. We saw many more runners from our area and filled up on refreshments. A couple beers go down really easy after a marathon! We took our annual group photos and talked about plans for next year. So, that means we are doing it again? Yes. I think I will personally work a little harder to prepare physically for whatever Leg I am put on. How bad could it be? Oh, right. That means more running. Maybe I will learn to like running…

Story by : Robin Janecka