Utah

States

Ogden, Utah

State #16

Location: Ogden, Utah
Half: Ogden Half Marathon
Date: May 19, 2018
Finish Time: 1:37
Who’d I travel with? Mom, Kristen and Nora
Pre-run meal? Italian! 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME.

The best gift I’ve ever received? A trip to Utah with my absolute best friends – my mom, sister, and my niece, Nora. What makes it even better? I got to run a half marathon through the mountains. Granted, Kristen initially put the half marathon registration and flight ticket in a water bottle, so it took me a while to realize the gift was much more than something to drink from. 

I’ve never been to Utah; but my mom told me it would be one of my favorite places – and she was absolutely correct. This half marathon definitely won the prize for the most beautiful scenery thus far in my half marathon journey, despite the high elevation and guaranteed breathing difficulty. 

Before race day, we got a chance to see a little more of Ogden’s beautiful landscape by exploring Antelope Island State Park. I swear, this place looks like something straight from Star Wars. It’s a combination of beach, flat land, mountains, boulders, and a beautiful stretch of open water. Also, and this may not be as appealing as the above mentioned sightings, but there was literally buffalo shit everywhere and yet somehow we couldn’t find a single buffalo. 

On race day, my family drove me through the mountains to drop me off at the starting line with the other runners. Then they joined the cheering section at the finish line 13 miles away. Right before the race started, I got nervous, which is something that doesn’t typically happen to me before a race. But I was worried about the altitude, the course, the amount of people running. I was worried that somehow I wasn’t going to “perform” my best. This is one of the races that ended up showing me the reason I run – not for my time, not for praise or compliments, I run for me. I run because I can. I run because I like to explore new places and see new things. I run because it gives me space, time, and freedom to clear my head and be in my own world. I run because it is what I love. I had a huge realization before this race – that running because you love it is enough.

As I ran, I stopped and took pictures of the picturesque waterfall running down the side of the cliffs, a sight that I’ll never forget seeing during a run. I listened to songs by Eminem and rapped out loud despite the interesting looks I was getting from those around me. Throughout the race I remained in my zone, running my own race, and not worrying about anything else except the joy and thankful feeling I had to have my family there at the end, no matter what, no matter how I performed, no matter what place I took. They were there for me and with me, no matter what. 

Thank you Kristen, for the most wonderful gift I’ve ever received! 

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