This was my first year running the Jubilee Run for Cancer. It was also my first 8K. I've come to like this distance because it's one step above the 5K, but not as challenging for me as the 10K. It's a distance that is not offered that often, at least around here.
The first run — originally called the Jubilee River Run & Goat-Hill Fun Run Road Races — was held April 7, 1979. Preliminary festivities took place Friday night before the race at the Montgomery Civic Center.
Former Olympic runner Jeff Galloway, his wife, Barbara, and Atlanta podiatrist Dr. Erving Miller spoke to many running fans as a warm-up for the Saturday morning race, and Galloway's comments set the stage for event — "Distance running is one of those rare things where the older you get, the better you get."
This run first began as a 10K then transitioned to an 8K after a few years. For years, it was held on Memorial Day Weekend to coincide with Montgomery's Jubilee CityFest event. In 2012, the Alfa Insurance Relay for Life team and other employees partnered with Jubilee CityFest to handle the Jubilee CityFest Run. They also transitioned the benefits of the run from revitalizing downtown Montgomery to raising money for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life organization. This event is held to celebrate life, encourage survivors to continue fighting and honor those who lost their brave battle with this disease.
This course was challenging to me. It ran through downtown Montgomery and there were several hills. I didn't know what to expect since it was my first 8K, but I wanted to finish in 45 minutes. I ran the first mile with Minerva. We were keeping a good pace together and I enjoyed her company. We went up our first hill at around 1.5 miles. She was with me at the start of the hill, but when I reached the top I lost her in the crowd. She told me at the start to not stick with her if I felt good and wanted to push ahead. I would have wanted her to do the same thing, so I kept running.
Up ahead I saw my PE Coach from Elementary School, Coach Cobb. She has run almost her entire life and she just started doing Crossfit. My goal was to keep her in my sight. I knew I couldn't pass her or even pace with her, but seeing her up ahead motivated me to keep going.
There was one last hill in the final half mile of the race. It was the biggest hill on the course. I wanted to run to the top without stopping. I pumped my arms, and repeated "Almost there" over and over again to myself. Once I made it to the top I could see the finish line up ahead. The clocked just hit 43:00 minutes and I ran as fast as I could to the finish. I finished in 43:35 just under my goal of 45 minutes.
Mile 1- 8:56
Mile 2- 8:47
Mile 3- 9:05
Mile 4- 8:47
Mile 0.98- 8:10
I met Michael, Dad, and Isabella at the finish. Minerva was not far behind me and we cheered for her when she crossed the line. We waited and cheered for mom when she crossed the line, too.
Afterwards, Minerva let Isabella play while we waited on the results to be posted. There were some fast runners in Minerva's age group. The first four women ran the 8K in 40 minutes or less. One of the runners in my age group finished overall in 35 minutes! Luckily, that put me in first place in my age division! I couldn't believe I placed on my first 8K.