Disclaimer: I received free race entry to the Soldier Field 10 Mile as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!
What a weird time for running and races! With the COVID-19 pandemic and everything shutting down, races are not the same. When I signed up for this race a few months ago, I expected to be in Chicago at the starting line on May 23rd. I expected to be surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of other runners. I expected to run as hard as I could, and maybe even get a new PR. I expected to run through a city full of vibrance and life. I expected to be able to go to a pizza place and get some Chicago-style deep-dish pizza after the race. Instead, I ended up running my 10 miler in Nappanee, Indiana. Instead of cars, there were horse-drawn carriages. Instead of people, there were cows. Instead of high rises and skyscrapers, there were silos and barns.
As I ran past cows and horses and fields and fields of corn, I couldn’t help but think of how my life and everyone else’s life has changed in the last few months. When I signed up for this race, I took for granted that I would be able to run it in the city. But even though the race wasn’t what I imagined, it was still such a blessing. It was a blessing that I was healthy enough to run. It was a blessing that I was able to run the 10 miles with friends (and actually 6 additional miles because they were running an even longer race that had also been cancelled). It was a blessing that I got to run outside without a mask. It was a blessing that I was able to stop thinking about all the issues and problems in this world right now, even for just a little bit.
Whereas almost every other sport has had to completely stop in these last few months, running goes on. This is the beauty of our sport. It doesn’t matter what’s going on, we always find a way to run. I remember when I first started to run in high school… at the time, I did not handle cold temperatures very well. Whenever it was below freezing, I would go downstairs and run from one side of the basement to the other side. Back and forth. Over and over and over and over again. Based on my calculations, it would take 50 or so back and forths to equal one mile… and I would usually do a few miles. Even though some might think this is insane, I think this is what makes running beautiful.