Running for the Fun of It
By Kara Kreiling
Every year when I was young, my brothers and I would participate in the Great Train Race. The race measured a short distance of a mile, and at the end we were rewarded with immensely unhealthy but delicious refreshments. The annual Great Train Race was always an exhilarating event, but after I ran it at age seven it meant more to me than that.
My brothers and I woke up excited, and horsed around the house until our parents suggested for us to save some energy for the race. After a short car ride later, we were there. The vivid blue sky contained puffy white clouds, leaving no doubt the weather would be gorgeous. The time whizzed by, and suddenly I stood on the start line. Apprehension coursed through me, and the butterflies in my stomach reminded me of how nervous I felt.
The gun shot rang out loud and clear and the butterflies transformed into adrenaline. I attempted a quick start, not wanting to be left in the dust. My body was not trained for running any remotely long distance, so the exhaustion hit quick and hard. Luckily, since that happened every year, I was prepared and managed to block out some of the fatigue I felt.
Keeping the same pace was challenging, but eventually I realized that the others were dropping back. Suddenly the only turn of the race approached, and I realized that I had made it halfway.
Cheering pedestrians soon started appearing, and their encouragement boosted my morale. That was when I realized that I was in second place, with only one girl in front of me. Happiness exploded in me; I knew I had never done this well before.
I closed the gap, and suddenly I took the lead. The last leg of the race slanted downhill, and I increased my speed to a slightly faster pace. I willed myself to finish strong; the end was such a short distance away…
My foot hit the finish line in the first race I had ever won. A smile erupted on my flushed face at my victory. Feelings of pride and excitement tingled in my skin as I made my way to my family. The Great Train Race now meant more to me than just some race I ran every year. It had begun my running career.
Now I run long distance track, and I know that running is one of the most useful ways I spend my time. Track is easily a great sport, especially after learning endurance and determination.
Running has taught me that working at something with complete devotion for a long time will result in success. On top of my improved stamina, I now enjoy running more than I ever thought I would. Finishing a run always feels like I have accomplished something important, because running provides a rewarding feeling. I learned a valuable lesson from running. Determination, perseverance, and dedication makes anything possible.