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How to Beat the Fat Kids: Winning Your First Clydesdale Division in a Race

The Washougal, Washington 2018 scary run was a wet one. As we got there a little bit early, I was wearing my “scared the boo out of you” emoji shirt, that my wife had made at her Fleet Feet running group. We were all huddled under a tent oh, about an hour before the scary Run 5K was about to start, with rain dripping down all around us. Going in running a 5k in the rain was probably the lowest things on my list that I wanted to do that day. Luckily about 20 minutes before the race was about to start, the rain really let up and came to a complete halt. As the 5K race Corral started to fill up, I thought to myself that since I hadn’t been training very much over the past couple of weeks, there was no way that I was going to hit my personal record during this race. I settled for the idea that I was going to run the furthest that I had ever run without stopping. My previous goal was running one mile in the Vancouver Appletree 5K. I successfully did that but I was tired by the time I got done running one mile. So for the scary run, my goal is to miles was a bit of a stretch. I started off a little bit quicker than I should have but pulled back on my pace. Understanding how a 10 minute mile feels versus a 11 minute mile, really helps you regulate your speed and overall performance. This time unfortunately I did not have a Garmin watch on me, I was literally Running blind and running with only a goal to run as far as I could without stopping. I came up on the two mile marker after a short hill and was very pleased to see that coming up quickly. I did it, I ran an entire 2 miles without stopping.

Now I just needed to get to the Finish Line. As I came up on the last quarter mile to the Finish Line, I said to myself that I was going to run the rest of the race as fast as I could, while ensuring that I wouldn’t have to stop during that time. And I did, I came in with a new personal record, beating my old record by about 30 seconds. And as they started calling the finishers and age divisions, I had a nice little surprise. Apparently I want the Clydesdale division, that is men weighing in at over 220 pounds. Yes, I beat the fat kids.

A few of the takeaways from this race that I keep in mind now as I run our that it doesn’t always pay off to push yourself hard in the first half mile of a race. Oftentimes pushing yourself can mean that you have to slow up a lot sooner. As they say, and I hate to say this because it sounds boring, slow and steady wins the race.

No matter how you are feeling on race day, take pride in the fact that there are small accomplishments that you can achieve along the way. And sometimes those small accomplishments can lead up to a bigger one that you did not even have on your radar.

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Hi! I wasn’t a runner either. This is my journey of understanding how to run, getting in shape, and joining the running community.

This is where I started.