Soaked and Stoked at Dan’s Papers PotatoHampton 5k

I’m constantly forgetting that there are few better ways to start a day than with a great run. Saturday, June 2, 2012 was no different: All week, I was getting excited for my first 5K of the season, the 34th annual running of the Dan’s Papers PotatoHampton. But when my alarm rang at 7 a.m., I was having second thoughts.

Motivated by my love of running and my new red sneakers, I arrived at the start in Militia Park about a half hour early and tried to forget the fact that I ate McDonalds for the first time in years yesterday – it’s not exactly the ideal pre-race meal. But the rain always makes me feel more intense as a runner. Anyone can decide to go for a jog on a nice day. But when the weather turns foul? That’s hardcore.

Led by Dan’s car, the runners were off at 9 a.m. sharp. I quickly found a group at my same pace, as we quietly competed with each other to lead the pack. The race went by surprisingly fast – it was especially nice that the sun wasn’t beating down during the stretches will little tree cover. There was some dodging of puddles, some wiping of the eyes to make sure my contacts didn’t fall out, but overall, I was having a great time.

And before I knew it I was at mile two. With one to go, I was neck-and-neck with a fellow runner, as we both tried to push the pace. We traded the lead spot and fed off of each other to pass two runners with a half of a mile to go. And I finally caught him at the home stretch, crossing the finish line soaked and stoked.

And now, the real prize: David Rattiner owes me five cups of coffee, as per a friendly bet waged on Friday. Victory never kept me so awake.

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