The First Timer and the Running Community

This weekend at the Hot Chocolate 5k in Columbus, OH (this is not my race review, that will come in a day or two), I had just finished my run and was enjoying my after race treats (said treats)

a woman walked, probably in her middle 40s.  I noticed that she was wearing a bib that you could pick up at the race expo that said: 

Obviously, I saw these bibs at the expo and thought they were a nice touch as the Hot Chocolate Run is a big drawl for beginners. What better motivation to run than chocolate? 

Anyways, she was coming towards me and I noticed bib and said, “congrats on your first 5k.”  She was the only runner I saw wearing the first timer bib.  To be honest, I just expected a thank you and she would walk by. But she stopped for a second and told me about her experience.  The said first time 5k bib was attached to the bottom of her main bib.  I guess originally she only fastened the top of the main bib to her shirt and safety pinned the two bibs together making a super large bib. 

The only problem with this was that the really large bib and the wind did not mix well together and it flew up in her face repeatedly.  So she did what any of us would do, she tried to fasten the bottom of the bib to her shirt.  While doing so, she lost track of where she was running or walking and tripped over some of the cones and fell down.  As any of us would be, she was embarrassed by the situation and asked me if she had a mark in her face.  I reassured her as she was telling the story that there wasn’t a mark and you couldn’t tell anything had happened.  

I tell her story notto shame her in any way (it could happen to anyone), it was the next part that I thought was cool but would totally expect from the running community.  She tells me that 3 other runners stopped what they were doing and made sure she was alright. I obviously don’t k ow who these 3 runners are, if they were on pace for a PR or just enjoying the run,  it they stopped to help this lady that no one knew. And isn’t that what the running community does best? It doesn’t matter your age, color, running ability, first race or 100th race.  We are all in it together.  

To that first time 5k runner and all other first time runners.  Congratulations, welcome to the running community.  You are one of us. 


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